By Adelola Amihere
Speaking on the sidelines of the Democracy Day celebrations, one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Sen. Magnus Abe has described as unfortunate the absence of past Heads of States at the event.
None of the country’s previous leaders – Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Ernest Sonekan, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Goodluck Jonathan participated in the in the Parade of Colours and other ceremonies held at the Eagle Square.
This was in spite of assurances by Lai Mohammed, former minister of Information that these personalities were expected at the climax of the Democracy Day activities.
Reacting to the absence Abe said: ” it is unfortunate that a lot of the key players in our contemporary history like Jonathan, Babaginda and others, were not physically present today, but it doesn’t diminish on the importance of what we have done today.
“They are human beings. You can’t speak for someone who has not spoken. They must have their reasons for not being here and it is good that Nigerians understand that.
“A lot of these men are now very old men and they are no longer moving as freely as they would have, but until they speak, we cannot speak for them.
“What is important is that their being here or not, does not diminish or reduce the significance of what we have done here today”.
According to the APC stalwart, the best way to deepen and entrench our democracy is to have democratic parties truly exhibiting internal democracy.
According to him, “it is as if Nigerians don’t realise the importance of internal democracy in our political parties in our democratic journey.
“Without democratic political parties, we may continue to find ourselves moving in circles. It is important that we enthrone democracy in our political parties .
“Secondly, we must do things based on truth. Anything based on deceit is a foundation for injustice and there cannot be peace where there is no justice,” he added.