President Buhari has made a public address to the nation ahead of the Democracy day celebration today, June 12.
Buhari in his speech, decried that it is worrisome that the country is celebrating Democracy Day this year amidst serious national issues on the socio-political and economic fronts. He also admitted that the “sad situation has given vent to violent verbal and physical expressions that constitute a serious threat not just to our democracy but to the unity of our nation.”
Expressing hope of the country overcoming its challenges, the President also called on Nigerians to respect their diversity and use it to produce the harmony that makes democracy the best form of government yet invented by man.
Buhari also said that the Electoral Act amendment Bill will be passed this June. He added that this bill contains provisions that address identified deficiencies in our electoral process, so that we can sustain the progress that is being made in the system under the Fourth Republic.
Read his full speech below;
My Democracy Day message to Nigerians
I felicitate with my fellow Nigerians on the occasion of our Democracy Day.
This Day has a tremendous significance for Nigerians who struggled so valiantly to establish Democracy in their beloved country and have vigilantly nurtured it with their tireless participation in the democratic process.
It is worrisome that we are celebrating Democracy Day this year amidst serious national challenges on the socio-political and economic fronts. This sad situation has given vent to violent verbal and physical expressions that constitute a serious threat not just to our democracy but to the unity of our nation.
However, clouds always make way for a bright sky so we should not let the current situation to shake our faith in democracy and in our nation. No nation is free from challenges but great people use challenges to drive the wheel of national progress.
We are not where we want to be yet in our democratic march but we are also not where we started. There will always remain much work to be done in democratic consolidation and nation-building. We should therefore never despair or contemplate a return to the undemocratic past that had cost us so much toil and blood to escape from.
As we march ahead on the journey, let us respect our diversity and use it to produce the harmony that makes democracy the best form of government yet invented by man.
Let us use the democratic mechanisms available to us such as the periodic review of the constitution to pursue the Nigeria of our dreams.
We have reached an advanced stage in the constitution review exercise. Our Committees at the Senate and House of Representatives are collating the views and submissions by Nigerians from across the country. The final report is now being expected and we hope to debate the recommendations and take a vote on them before we proceed on our annual vacation in July.
We are also set to pass the Electoral Act amendment Bill this June. This Bill contains provisions that address identified deficiencies in our electoral process so that we can sustain the progress that is being made in the system under the Fourth Republic.
While congratulating my fellow Nigerians on the journey so far, I urge us all to remain steadfast in our commitment to democracy. Happy Democracy Day.
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