Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday harped on the need to strengthen democracy in Africa.
The duo made the call in Abeokuta during the opening session of a two-day democracy conference held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
The conference, organised by the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), was also attended by the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, former President Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma, and Professor Pat Utomi.
Resolutions reached at the conference are expected to be passed on to the Economic Community of West African States and political leaders across West Africa.
The CoDA high-level dialogue was themed ‘West Africa: Rising to the challenge of democratic governance’.
Obasanjo, during his speech, called for a stable democratic environment to ensure development.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who gave the keynote address, commended Nigeria’s 20-year unbroken democratic journey.
He, however, bemoaned the recent coups and unconstitutional change of governments in some African countries.
“Conversely, pervasive illiteracy can nullify the freedom of the press. In the progressive vision, political rights and socioeconomic rights are mutually reinforcing. In any event, the fulfilment of the social contract is the enduring value proposition of democracy,” Prof. Osinbajo added.
Prof. Osinbajo however noted that despite the present challenges “this is also a moment of opportunity – one in which we can reflect on our democratic progress, strengthen our institutions, deliver on socio economic development and deepen our commitment to building successful democratic states.”
Other dignitaries at the event included former President of Nigeria, H.E. Goodluck Jonathan and former President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Ernest Koroma, among others.