Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Sustaining democracy in Nigeria requires nurturing, vigilance – Abdulsalami


Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), has said that sustaining democracy in the country requires constant nurturing and vigilance.

Abubakar, who was represented by Gen. Adamu Jidda, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the second edition of ThisNigeria Newspaper Gold Prize and Annual Lecture Awards.

The theme of the lecture is “25 Years of Nigeria’s Unbroken Democracy – Prospects and Possibilities.”

He said that electoral integrity, human rights, economic development and social justice remained critical areas that demand the country’s collective attention and action.

He also said that the nation’s democratic journey had not been without its trials.

“Democracy is an evolving process, and the past 25 years have taught the country that it requires constant nurturing and vigilance.

“We have faced political turbulence, economic fluctuation and social upheaval, yet through it all, the Nigerian spirit has remained indomitable.

“We have shown that despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to conducting elections that are inclusive, prosperous and democratic,” he said.

He stated further that the next 25 years and more would certainly bring challenges and opportunities.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the foundations are built and strengthened and that our democratic institutions are fortified.

“Let us take a moment to reflect on a remarkable journey Nigeria has undertaken over the past quarter of a century.

“In 1999, our nation embarked on the path of democratic governance, a path marked by aspirations, challenges and unwavering commitment to the principle of freedom justice and equality.

“Democracy as we all know is not a system of government, it is a testament to the will of the people, it represents our collective voice, our shared values and our common aspirations.

“For Nigeria, the past 25 years have been a testament to the resilience of our democratic institutions,” he said.

He said that the country must recognise the role of the media in the democratic journey.

He also noted that the press had been the watchdog of democracy, “holding leaders accountable, shedding light on issues that matter and providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard.

“ThisNigeria in particular, has been at the forefront of this endeavour, championing the cause of free and fair journalism.



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