Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
The 19 years of Nigeriaâ€™s uninterrupted democracy, coupled with the various challenges confronting the people has called for celebration.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. HonÂ Dimeji Bankole, made the disclosure in aÂ statement issued by his media aide, Morgan Amodu, to commemorate the 2018 Democracy Day
According to him, â€œIt is heart-warming to witness the 19th year of Democratic governance in Nigeria. Despite the series of challenges, such as herdsmen killings, kidnapping, perennial power failure, harsh economy, corruption, terrorism and many others that are not only making life unpleasurable butÂ Â seem to be threatening the unity of our country, the need to celebrate cannot be overemphasized considering the fact that, we have never had democracy for this length of time since independence in 1960â€.
Bankole noted that the feat recorded was asÂ Â result of resilience and determination of Nigerians to ensure that democracy is entrenched in Nigeria.
â€œWe must appreciate the resilience and determination of Nigerians to ensure, against all odds, that democracy thrives in Nigeria. It is an open secret that we are yet to feel the real essence of democracy which include enhancement in the quality of life. But we have indeed made progress, though it is not yet uhuru. We are obviously not where we ought to be, but we have certainly moved on from where we were. I am very confident that greater days are ahead.
â€œSo, as we celebrate, we must salute the military for their discipline, patriotism and commitment to the democratic ideals. The reasons for which the Military truncated Civil rule in the past are still evident in todayâ€™s Nigeria. So for them to have shuned the temptation to take over power and stick to their constitutional responsibility is worthy of commendationâ€, said Dimeji.
The Lawmaker, who was in saddle as the speaker, House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011, however, urged Nigerians to always remember, pray and make the sustainability of democracy a priority for the sake of those that have paid the supreme prize. He maintained that the first step towards the sustainability of democracy as well as the attainment of the desired progress and development is anchored on the choice of those that are saddled with the positions of responsibilities.
He further appealed to Nigerians to take advantage of the forthcoming general elections to vote into offices those that will see position of leadership as a duty to build strong institutions as against strong individuals, ease the pains of the people, and position the country for greatness.