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Democracy Day: Movement urges Nigerians to recommit to strengthening democracy

The Nigerian Diaspora Movement (NDM) on Friday urged Nigerians to recommit to strengthening democracy in the country, irrespective of their economic challenges.

The NDM is a diaspora inspired socio-political movement for the civil mobilisation and economic empowerment of the Nigeria public for a new, progressive united country where patriotic leadership, transparency, rule of law, good governance, economic growth, and informed electorates mutually blend for sustainable development…

The Chairman of NDM, Prof. Apollos Nwauwa, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Nwauwa, also the Secretary-General of the African Diaspora Congress (ADC), said the advice became imperative in view of the fact that this year, marks 22 years of democracy in Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s democracy although uninterrupted since 1999, has been quite rocky even as the memory of June 12 continues to loom large; however, elections are not the only indices of democracy.

“IN spite of the challenges, the fact that Nigerians elected leaders and lawmakers through free and fair elections and participated in national discourses without fear, which are essential features of democracy, should be celebrated.

“It is against this backdrop that the NDM felicitates with Nigerians for this milestone and enjoins compatriots to recommit to strengthening democracy,” Nwauwa said.

He said although there was hardly a perfect democracy globally, particularly in Greece, where the Western concept of democracy originated and America, the bastion of democracy, remained work-in-progress everywhere.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on June 7, 2018 directed that the nation’s Democracy Day will, henceforth, hold on June 12 of every year as against the arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.

Buhari also resolved to honour the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, with the highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

In a statement he personally signed, Buhari said:” Dear Nigerians, I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Govt has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day.

”We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola. Chief Abiola’s running mate, Amb. Baba-Gana Kingibe, is also to be awarded a GCON.

Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, tireless fighter for human rights & democracy, & for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 elections, will be posthumously awarded a GCON.

”In the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12, 1993 was and is far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even Oct. 1.

”June 12, 1993 was the day millions of Nigerians expressed their Democratic will in the freest, fairest & most peaceful elections since our Independence. That the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Govt does not detract from its democratic credentials”.

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