The founder of Stanbic IBTC plc, Atedo Peterside, has said Nigeria’s democracy is endangered in this political dispensation.
Mr Peterside was recently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari to chair the national steering committee which will oversee the development of Nigeria’s Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan.
Both the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium Term National Development Plan are to succeed Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan from 2017 – 2020.
According to the presidency, the new development plan will lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
Mr Peterside, who spoke during the 2020 edition of The Platform, an annual forum for national discourse organised in commemoration of October 1, decried the inability to sustain the legacy of Nigeria’s previous leaders.
The programme, aired on Channels TV on Thursday, was held virtually owing to constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the efforts of people of his generation to ensure Nigeria’s democracy is being undermined with sham elections in this era.
“Activism for my generation only deliver democracy. Today, that democracy that was delivered is in danger because we are slowly… we decide if and when we want to have free and fair elections. Free and fair election should not be in Edo. There must be free and fair elections everywhere.”
Mr Peterside called on the federal government and all security agencies to make conscious efforts to prevent the looming destruction of Nigeria’s democracy.
“You cannot have one set of rules for Edo and any different kind for Kogi or somewhere else. We need the federal government, the IG of Police, the army… We should put pressure on all these people that the democracy we fought so hard for, we must not destroy it. The easiest way to destroy democracy is to have sham elections where those who did not win assume office.”
Also, he urged the youth to fight for the sustainability of Nigeria’s democracy, calling for the disruption of the existing status quo.
“The best riggers are those with the most money and with the most clouts, majorly the elderly people. So we have to dismantle all that to bring the best ideas into elections,” he said.