By Taye Obateru
Jos: Elder statesman and politician, Chief Solomon Lar has done an assessment of the Nigeriaâ€™s fledgling democracy identifying electionsâ€™ rigging and the winner-takes-all syndrome as two major problems.
He said in a chat with reporters yesterday that the two must be addressed for the survival of democracy as most of the political crises in the country could be linked to them.
He dismissed insinuations that his party the PDP was the guiltiest of rigging among political parties noting that while there might be individuals who perpetrate such for selfish reasons, the party had no reason to rig in view of its wide followership across the country.
â€œRigging is the greatest problem of democracy in the country and steps must be taken to address this problem in the interest of our democracy. In 1999 when I was the national chairman of the PDP, we did not rig yet we had tremendous support from across the country. PDP remains a party that is well liked by Nigerians so it has no reason to rig elections.
â€œI will not support a one- party system. Iâ€™m a democrat, and the constitution provides for multi party democracy. I will continue to work and see to the survival of democracy in the country. We must do everything to ensure that our democracy thrivesâ€, Lar said.
He added that the winner-take-all syndrome whereby politicians who contested positions were left in the cold by the winner contributed to the political problems and suggested that a way be found to bring them on board by the winner.
Chief Lar recalled that as governor of Plateau State during the second republic, he ensured that all those who contested with him got other appointments which made for harmony within the party.
â€œI did not even stop at giving appointments to those who contested with me within the party (the NPP). I also gave appointments to people in other parties and that was why we had peace in our time. But when you take everything, you will create problems.