Senate president Ahmad Lawan has said that Nigeria had made significant progress over the last 20 years since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
Lawan said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 17th edition of the Daily Trust Dialogue which had the theme: “Twenty Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Strengths, Weaknesses and Opportunities”.
A statement by his Special Assistant (Press), Mr Ezrel Tabiowo, indicated that Lawan was represented by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi.
Lawan said that representation, appropriation and legislation were critical to good governance.
According to him, these virtues are enshrined in a democratic set up which Nigerians have experienced in the last 20 years.
Lawan spoke further: “Nigeria has made substantial progress on all counts; we have been steady, determined and forward-looking.
“We have developed to a point where we can look no other way, other than the democratic way.
“What we now have to do, as we have been doing in the National Assembly, is to perfect the system.
“The point has been severally made that there is no perfect democracy anywhere in the world, but the hallmark of a good democracy is the ability to develop its processes and procedures,” Lawan said.
Edited by: Ephraims Sheyin
Democracy Day: CAN urge FG to end insecurity in the north
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Northern chapter, has called on the Federal Government to end the insecurity that has ravaged the region in the past years.
Rev. Yakubu Pam, Chairman of the association in the region, made the call in a congratulatory message marking Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
Pam, in the message, issued on Saturday in Jos, decried the loss of lives and property due to banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, farmers-herders clashes, and host of other insecurity in the region.
The chairman, who commended FG for efforts it had put in place, further called for concerted efforts in curbing insecurity in Katsina, Borno, Zamfara, Adamawa, Benue, Plateau and Taraba States.
“Our leaders must continue to work together under one umbrella to champion issues of peace, unity and Justice in the country. It is when you have absolute peace that the dividends of democracy will remain visible.
“Leaders must always put the interest of their people against parochial and self interest. This is the guiding principles that will deepen and strengthen our democratic values.
“As we mark the year’s democracy day, i wish to call on the Federal Government to intensify efforts in ending all forms of insecurity in the northern part of this country.
“Lives were lost, huge resources and property worth billions had gone down the drain because of insecurity and government must be proactive to change the narrative,” he urged.
Pam congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, for leading the country on the path of growth and development, adding that his fight against corruption is yielding positive results.
The cleric called on Nigerians to cooperate and support the president in order to provide leadership that would breed sustainable development.
He admonished leaders at all levels, particularly those occupying public offices to put the interest of the people over and above everything.
Pam appealed to the Tivs and Jukuns in Taraba state to shade their swords eschew violence and embrace peace in the interest of development.
He urged the two parties to adhere to the advice of CAN and other peace stakeholders and cultivate the spirit of tolerance in resolving their differences.
Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Democracy Day: Gov. Sule mulls building small scale employers in Nasarawa
Sule said this on Friday in Lafia at the Education and Governance Summit organised by the state as part of activities to mark Democracy Day.
According to him, education is the bedrock of development in any given society “once you focus on education, every other sectors such as industrialisation, agriculture, among others, will excel,” he said.
The governor disclosed that Nasarawa was one of the states that received the lowest allocation from the Federal Government, noting that it calls for prudence, transparency and accountability in the management of resources.
He added that the reality on ground has necessitated the need to look inward to improve internally generated revenue to supplement the allocation upon assumption of office.
“My dream is to build small scale employers in Nasarawa state, because by the time you build them, they will build and train others thereby boosting the economy of the state,” he said.
Sule assured of continuous executing of new projects that would have direct bearing on the people’s lives as well as completing the one initiated by his predecessors.
Prof. Emember George-Genyi, in her presentation on “Citizenship and participation in governance towards the realisation of dividend of democracy’’, emphasised the participation of citizens in the governance by electing their leaders.
She stressed the need to educate the girl-child, as she called for their massive enrolment in both primary and secondary schools.
“As citizens, we have the responsibility to support and obey constituted authorities, it is only when citizens support the government that they can enjoy the dividend of democracy,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the summit to mark Democracy Day was attended by critical stakeholders in education and governance.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Democracy Day: Kwara youths demand jobs from government
Some Youths in Kwara have urged the State Government to provide them with job opportunities to ameliorate their sufferings.
The youths made the demand against the backdrop of unemployment as the country celebrates Democracy Day.
They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ilorin.
According to them, true democracy is right if it reflects good standard of living.
Mr Ayodeji Ezekiel, a graduate, said that one of the dividends of democracy was the right to good standard of living.
According to Ezekiel, the best way the youths can have their share of democratic governance is through employment and empowerment.
“We want our voice heard, we are tired of sitting idle and doing menial jobs after school.
”Some of the youths who graduated with good grades are forced to ride motorcycles, tricycles and taxis while our mates are working in multinational companies.
“There is no equity and fairness in that, we need government at all levels to tackle this problem in our nation,” he said.
Another respondent, Mr Akeem Olakunle said that if unemployment was not solved, Nigeria may return to primitive days as people would no longer see education as important.
“Why will I go to school to become a banker and end up as carpenter? I should have gone to technical school or become an apprentice than waste time schooling.
“Education will become secondary option to youths if care is not taken,” Olakunle cautioned.
He called on the government to revive and fund more technical schools across the country because they are fast becoming the most useful form of education.
Also, Miss Kike Owolabi, another unemployed youth, said that being gainfully employed could curb drug abuse and addiction.
“Employment will combat drug abuse and addiction. Most times that youths turn to drugs is because of depression and loss of hope.
“Self pity in the face of struggle and sufferings can lead one to drugs and even other harmful social vices.
“Some of us cannot bear it, seeing our parents give all to train us in schools, yet we cannot give back to them at their old age.
“My mother is still selling akara by the road side that is what she has been doing to raise four of us, and yet we cannot take good care of her. It is unfair and we do not feel good about it,” she cried.
Owolabi said that government needed to put in place structures and policies to enable young graduates get employed.
She added that government policies such as N-power should be more encompassing to make the desired impact.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Democracy Day: Nigerians yet to fully enjoy in 21 years of democracy — Ogun monarch
Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, Towulade of Akinale community in Ogun, says Nigerians are yet to fully enjoy democratic dividends 21 years after return of democracy to the country.
The Ogun monarch said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos in commemoration of the 2030 Democracy Day on Friday in Lagos.
Ogunleye called for a reordering of the current lopsided socio-economic developmental policies in order to bridge the gap of inequalities in many fronts in the country.
“Hope 93” was a deafening slogan for most Nigerians in their frenzy desire to have a new democratic government in Nigeria after the military intervention in the governance of the country.
“Unfortunately, the hope was dashed as the June 12 election, acclaimed worldwide to have been won by late MKO Abiola, was annulled and the country was, once again, thrown into political logjam.
“Successive democratic governments since 1999 may have made some remarkable efforts to reposition Nigeria through strategic programmes to reorder its social economic development.
“But there still remain gaps in the desire of Nigerians to obtain maximum benefit from a federated state that Nigeria is.
“This is the reason we need some legislative proposals deliberately crafted to reverse problems of inequalities and national unity,” he said.
Ogunleye advised Nigerians to continue pressing for improvement in their desires to achieve a universal democratic governance as they were celebrating democracy day and remembering MKO Abiola through whom the national change had metamorphosed.
“I wish to congratulate Nigerians today and reiterate that a lot of changes must be made to make Nigeria a truly democratic country.
“I also congratulate the family of the late democrat, MKO Abiola,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)