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Happy Democracy Day — By Mazi Afam Osigwe

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In 1998, when election timetable was released, many  thought it was yet another deception by the Military junta . The several aborted electoral processes fired this scepticism. 

Such was the scant confidence in the process that many neither participated nor believed the military would hand over power to an elected civilian government. 

To the glory of God, today we are marking the 18th anniversary of the democratic journey which commenced on May 29, 1999.

Despite the eighteen years of democratic government, many of our hopes are still far from being realized. The  challenges of our past still rear their ugly heads. 

We still face the unrelenting monsters of declining infrastructures, corruption, armed robbery, brigandage, terrorism, cronyism,  youth restiveness, massive environmental degradation, religious intolerance, waste in government, rising crime waves, unemployment, declining economy, economic recession, greatly devalued Naira, rising inflation, food insufficiency etc. 

Despite these, we remain undaunted and hopeful for a better tomorrow. We are a resilient people and our hope shall never dim notwithstanding the odds against us. 

Our challenges will continue to bring out the best in us and daily increase our commitment to help build a better nation.

As we celebrate today, in the season of Ramadan, let us take out time to pray for our great nation and those that God has entrusted with leadership at various levels. 

I pray that we will celebrate many unbroken years of democracy.  May  we truly journey towards achieving the true meaning of  “Democracy”. 

I pray for our national institutions, that they may reflect the virtues of democracy in their actions by showing unreserved respect for the rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

I pray that our politicians will always act with the interest of the citizens at heart and in the overall interest of the nation and its integrity. 

I pray for peace and an end to all sorts of insurgency, militancy and criminal activities that threaten the corporate existence of our dear nation. 

I specially pray for the health of our President and wish him quick recovery. 

I join many Nigerians to pray also for the Acting President on this auspicious day, that God in His infinite mercy will guide and guard him as he pilots the affairs of State. 

I pray for all leaders. May the Almighty God will convert the heart of those who are now detached from the promises they made during their election campaigns and make them truly responsible leaders who will work for the good of the citizenry and to God’s glory now and always. 

I also pray that God in His loving kindness will raise for Nigeria, good and courageous young men and women who will take up the mantle of leadership and place our greatly blessed nation on the path of consistent growth and prosperity.

As we reflect on our journey so far, we must be conscious of the future and plan for it.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Happy Democracy Day!

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