#Editorial

On Tinubu’s Democracy Day Address

THE harsh economic environment accompanied by throes of insecurity, high cost of living and political upheavals in the country had increased Nigerians’ anticipation and appetite to hear the message of hope from the President on Democracy Day, a day set aside to celebrate liberation from oppressive rule and the united resolve of Nigerians to be governed by people in whom they reposed their trust and faith for a better Nigeria.

     IT was a day to remember the freest and fairest election ever held in the history of Nigeria. A day to remember that the promises of a dictator could not be relied upon, and that the wishes of the masses freely expressed at the poll could be annulled by military fiat. It was a day to hear the President’s testimony of the dashed HOPE 93, his resolve to restore that hope, being a major participant in the struggle, and assure that this present democracy would surely operate on true democratic principles that promote not only free choice but participation of the people in governance.

HOWEVER, we observe that the President’s speech, which rightly identified the need to celebrate our ‘nations 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance was more.

WITH  the increasing spate of truncated democracy in Africa, the excuses for take overs increasing daily, and the awareness by the President that ‘…there are those among us who will try to exploit current challenges to undermine, if not destroy, this democracy for which so much has already been given, there was the high expectation that the speech would clinically address issues of insecurity, disintegration devices, economic hardship and alienation of the people from participatory good governance.

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UNFORTUNATELY, these topical issues received mere mentions without emphatic and assertive policy statements that assuage the feelings of the people and the assurances of a government that has transcended the realm of understanding ‘the economic difficulties we face as a nation to ensuring that the sacrifices of the ruled for the past twenty five years deliver the dividends of democracy in real terms here and now.

FURTHERMORE, the nation’s existential realities do not support the President’s assertion that ‘…we have established a tradition of holding transparent, open, and fair elections.  THE HOPE is  of the strong opinion that the improvements in our electoral systems have not attained the level of celebration.

MONEY  politics, imposition, electoral manipulations and other technical vices have conspired against the standard of the annulled June 12 elections which birthed the Democracy Day. There is the need for continuous reforms in the conduct of elections in Nigeria and also the adoption of technology that promotes fairness and transparency, thereby giving more confidence in the electoral body, and in essence cure political apathy.

IN  a situation where election boycotts by Nigerians, (who believe that their votes would not count), the nation cannot proudly say that our democracy is a true representative of the people’s political wish and aspiration.

RATHER  than being the decision of the majority, democracy as at the last general election still remained the decision of the minority for the majority. This anomaly can however be addressed with innovative and more engaging electoral reforms, political education, security of persons, places and property as well as the entrenchment of internal democracy.

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‘WE could not have won the battle against dictatorship without the irrepressible Nigerian journalists who mounted the barricades along with the pro-democracy activists, as stated by the President n his speech, shows a leader that understands the indispensable role of the Press in societal change and the attainment of good governance.

THE HOPE therefore expects that under his Presidency, the Press would enjoy freedom and hence contribute to the development of this nation and the consolidation of our democratic experience.

WE expect that the Press would be much more protected, enjoy the freedom of information law, and accorded the needed support without intimidation and harassment in their quest for the truth and report of same to the citizenry without fear or favour.

FINALLY , THE HOPE appreciates the recognition accorded June 12 by former President MuhammaduBuhari. His predecessors had shied away from exercising the political will of recognizing that the day Nigerians defied all odds to truly participate in deciding their political fate was worthy of recognition and celebration. While President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as well as other gladiators in the battle for democratic leadership, is appreciated, we implore him to give life to the dashed Hope of ever-sacrificing Nigerians, ensure the attainment of economic democracy, ease the socio-economic burdens of the people so that we can steadily gravitate towards the political and governance transformation we all desire.

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On Tinubu’s Democracy Day Address

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On Tinubu’s Democracy Day Address

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