25 Years of Uninterrupted Democracy, Longest in Nigeria’s History — Gov Bago

June 11, 2024

“In realisation of this, the Niger State Government, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has always made its doors open to IPAC and accepted useful suggestions to move the state forward.

“We shall continue to engage robustly all political stakeholders for feedback and setting development agenda for our state, invariably to achieve the New Niger Development Agenda with realisable action plans,” said Bago.

He explained further that it was practically obvious the desire of his administration not to waive anything that would uplift the well-being of Nigerlites, while realising that it was the primary responsibility of any democratic government, stressing “we have demonstrated this by our actions, policies, and projects of direct impact on the people and the level we want to take Niger State to. We aim at the hillcrest of economic, social, and political prosperity for the state, leveraging on our areas of comparative advantage.”

Also, the guest lecturer, Prof. Salihu Mohammed Niworu, dean, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, IBBU, Lapai, said that the freedom associated with Western liberal democracy facilitated its movement out of Greece, its original home, to other parts of the world, including Nigeria, Canada, and the United States of America, among several other countries.

He added that beyond the rule of the people, there was no other consensus on what democracy meant.

According to him, it was this rule by the majority that gave people the liberty to elect leaders they believed would satisfy their collective aspiration for development, adding that this was what made democracy the most accepted and widely practised system of government all over the world.

Niworu, however, described democracy as the most preferred system of government today, not only by nation-states, but even by tribal unions, market women, sports clubs, faith-based, and community-based organisations, which he pointed out now elected their leaders through democratic processes.

He argued that democracy was not about freedom to commit crimes nor to loot the public treasury, while it was not about religious fundamentalism, civilian dictatorship, or executive fiat, stressing that democracy was not about using political parties as mere platforms for the proliferation of personality billboards with several inscriptions as “Daram Damdam, Sai Baba, Sai Mama, Trusted and Tested!”

Niworu further noted that democracy was obviously about matching words with actions that were people-oriented, adding that it was about service delivery to the people regardless of party affiliations and provision of common goods to society.

In his welcome address, the state Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Hon. Mohammed Bello Maikujeri, said: “We all cherish freedom and embrace the path of democracy and democratic means of governance as the most credible platform to sustain such a God-given right,” as he appreciated Almighty Allah and welcomed the stakeholders to the historic and unique occasion of this year’s Democracy Day anniversary.

He stated philosophically that when former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar lifted the ban imposed on partisan politics, many Nigerians and Nigerlites, inclusive, had a sigh of relief at the time, maintaining that this was in view of the high expectations anticipated to be derived under the democratic system of governance then.

“Today we must give thanks to Almighty Allah and appreciate the former Nigerian leader, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), as his sacrifice and desire are now 25 years of an unbroken journey. Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that 25 years of uninterrupted democratic journey is worth celebrating by all Democrats and well-meaning Nigerians,” said Maikujeri.

The state IPAC chairman added that Nigeria’s democracy had come a long way, despite the numerous challenges, just as he described it as part of development.

He further highlighted that as stakeholders, “the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has played a prominent role in deepening democracy and sustaining the democratic process,” stressing that it was on-going.