Senate President,Â Dr. Bukola Saraki, has charged Nigerians to be vigilant at all times by speaking against all anti-democratic policies in the country
He also advised Nigerians to guide against actions that are capable of subverting the rule of law. In a message issued in Abuja yesterday to mark the 19th anniversary of Democracy Day in theÂ country, Saraki enjoined the citizenry not to take for granted the continued democratic dispensation the country has been enjoying since 1999 but guard against actions, statements and moves which can truncate the political process.
He also canvassedÂ strict adherence to the principles of rule of law, separation of powers, sovereignty of parliament, independence of the judiciary, and freedom of the press, adding that â€œour constitutional institutions must be preserved and protected.â€ According to him, democracy goes beyond the conduct of elections to put leaders in office.
â€œDemocracy involves strict adherence to rule of law as against the rule of men. It is about respect for due process and following laid down procedures. It is about respect for and building of institutions.
â€œThat is why we cannot be celebrating Democracy Day without canvassing for caution on some recent negative developments in our polity, particularly as we prepare for next yearâ€™s general elections. These include abuse of office in a manner that suggests persecution and oppression of perceived enemies, stifling of free expression, undermining of democratic institutions, and impunity on the part of certain persons who behave as though they are above the laws of the land.
â€œThese developments should be of concern to all democrats. Other political and opinion leaders who decided to veil their sight as if they are not seeing these infractions on democracy and choose to keep quiet, should know that they equally pose danger to the survival of our country.
â€œHistory will not be fair to us if we allow our complacency to jeopardise democracy. We all must be able to speak out with strong voice on issues that constitute a danger to democracy. Eternal vigilance, they say, is the price of liberty.
â€œAlso, it is important for us to quickly tackle all issues that can undermine our democracy, particularly insecurity and lack of good governance. We must immediately find solution to the security issues and ensure that we return the regime of peace, safety of lives and property in all parts of our country. In the same way, we must do all that is necessary to deliver good governance to our people and fight corruption at all levels. These challenges must be confronted by all political leaders devoid of party loyalty, ethnicity, religion and personal preferences. We must all set aside our personal interests and work as a collective on these aforementioned issues.â€
Obaseki Lauds Edo People for Unflinching Support as Residents Celebrate
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended residents and indigenes of the state for the peaceful democracy celebrations, thanking them for their unflinching support for his administration and policies.
Obaseki, who noted that his government is strengthening relevant institutions for democratic consolidation, applauded the serene and reflective mood with which the day was marked.
He enjoined the people of the state to continue to play their role in deepening democracy by actively participating in the electoral process, which has improved over the years.
He said the state government would continue to work for the people, by designing and implementing people-centric policies, assuring space for equal access to justice and ensuring economic growth and development.
According to him, â€œThis day is one of extreme significance in our history as a nation as it marks the 19th year of return of power to the people under this republic. I therefore join Nigerians in the celebration,â€ he noted
Letâ€™s Nurture Our Democracy, Kwara Gov Tells Nigerians
Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has elicited the support of all Nigerians in nurturing the nationâ€™s fragile democracy to a vibrant, strong and prosperous one.
In his Democracy Day message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, the governor said: â€œAll advanced democracies of the world had passed through turbulent times but survived through dialogue and citizensâ€™ commitment to democratic norms.â€
As Nigeria approaches another election year, Ahmed called on politicians to abhor hate speeches and incitement of the people against constituted authorities.Â The governor who admitted that the state was challenged because of the fall in federally allocated revenue, explained that the ingenuity of his government in reforming the revenue generation platforms had launched the state among few viable states in the country with self sustaining capacity.
Ahmed assured Kwarans that all the ongoing developmental projects would be taken to completion levels in a bid to bridge infrastructural deficit and guarantee sustainableÂ economic growth in the state.
Itâ€™s a New Dawn in Ogun, Says Amosun
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has felicitated with the people of the state on the celebrationÂ of Democracy Day, urging them to hope for to new dawn.
In his message to mark the day, the governor promised the commitment of his government, towards ensuring that democratic dividends are felt in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
Amosun, in the massage, signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Otunba Adedayo Adeneye, expressed optimism that the mission to rebuild the state, embarked upon by his administration, which is marking the third anniversary of its second term, will be a success story, by the time itâ€™s tenure expires on May 29, next year.
He said his government would have commemorated this yearâ€™s anniversary, with the commissioning of some of the over 50 new projects, spread across the three geo-political zones, but because of the month of Ramadan the inaugurating has been shifted till a later date that will be announced.
Ambode: Security of Lives, Property My Biggest Achievement in Three Years
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has described the security of lives and property of residents as the biggest achievement of his administration in the last three years, saying it is gratifying to note that the state is now the safest in Africa.
Speaking at the inauguration of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Army in Epe, Ambode said the combined investment of his administration in the security architecture of the state and efforts of security agencies had resulted in peaceful atmosphere for residents and visitors.
The governor, who recalled the days of kidnapping, cultism and other security challenges in Ikorodu and Epe axis, said it was satisfying that the activities of criminal elements such as militants, among others had been confined to history in the state.
Recalling his early days in office, the governor said his first major task was how to address kidnapping and other nefarious activities perpetrated by militants in Ishawo axis, adding that a military base was eventually set up as well as military operation code-named â€œOperation Awatse.â€
Okowa Promises More Projects
Thousands of Deltans yesterday attended praise worship and thanksgiving at the Event Centre, Asaba to mark this yearâ€™s Democracy Day with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa expressing confidence that more people-oriented projects will be executed in the state.
Okowa, who attributed the success of his administration to the glory of God,Â asserted, â€œwe believe our God that it will get better and better.
â€œAs we give thanks to God for what He is doing for us in Delta State,Â I wish to appreciate every one of you, every Deltan, you have played different roles for things to get better,â€ he said, adding, â€œwhen you have Jesus as your Lord, nothing can go wrong.â€
He continued: â€œWe promised our people that we will create jobs, we have created a lot of it, we have continued to build on the foundations laid by former Governors James Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan,Â we will continue to execute projects that will impact on our people, our state is peaceful and we need the cooperation of everybody to sustain the peace, investors are coming and more investors will still come.â€
We Are Delivering on Our Promises, Says Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that his administration over the last three years, has deliveredÂ an open, transparent and accountable government which has transformed the trajectory of governance from the failures of the past to one that cares and works for the people.
Wike said his administration is delivering on his campaign promises and improving the living standards of Rivers people through quality projects and programmes.
Addressing Rivers stakeholders in Port Harcourt yesterday during the public presentation of his administrationâ€™s scorecard as part of his third year anniversary, Wike said his administration has judiciously applied scarce resources for the benefit of Rivers people.
He said through the achievements of his administration, the state has been lifted from the valleys of despair to the heights of hope.
The governor said improvements in different sectors have changed the fortune of the state and securely placed it on the pedestal of sustained growth.Â He said: â€œBefore we assumed office we made a lot of promises as the bases for seeking your mandate. We have also invested time, efforts and resources to fulfill these promises.
Akeredolu Advocates Adoption ofÂ One Language as Solution to National Unity
Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday said building a united Nigeria could be possible if one of the three major languages could be adopted as a language of communication for the country.
Akeredolu stated this in Akure, the sate capital while speaking at the celebration of Year 2018 Democracy Day held at the International Event Centre, The Dome.
The celebration featured democracy lecture entitled: â€œNigeria Unity: The Challenges, Prospects and The Way Forwardâ€ delivered by the former National President of Association of Nigerian Authors,Â Dr. Wale Okediran, with Senator Olorunimbe Mamora as the Chairman.
The governorÂ said we have the problem to build a united nation because we do not have one language.
Iâ€™m Overwhelmed by Our Achievements, Says Ugwuanyi
The people of Enugu State yesterday joined Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to celebrate the third anniversary of his administration, even as they expressed delight at the array of achievements so far recorded in the state.
Some notable political leaders at the carnival-like event include Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Governors, Okechukwu Itanyi and Ralph Nwoye, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, traditional rulers, religious leaders including the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, among others.
The major highlights of the event with the theme: â€˜Festival of Gratitude and Praiseâ€™ were special parade by the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, musical renditions and cultural displays.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Ugwuanyi said he was overwhelmed by the three-year scorecard his administration recorded under harsh financial straits. He said that the promises he made during his inauguration on May 29, 2015 had looked vague and unrealisable due to the huge debt profile of the state as at the time.
Ishaku Asks Taraba People to Support His Re-election
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has ask the people of the state to support him in his quest to govern the state for another term.
Addressing a crowd of jubilant and enthusiastic residents of the state who thronged the Jolly Nyame Stadium for the Democracy Day and his third year in office celebrations, Ishaku stated he has justified the mandate given to him within his three years in office.
Also at the ceremony, which has in attendance the Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Betcha, Senator Shauibu Isa Lau and Hon D.C. Hosea as well as Hon Danladi Baido Tijos, the governor inaugurated 30 tractors to complement the ongoing agricultural revolution in the state and 10 Hilux vehicles for security operatives in the state.
Similarly, the governor, who had earlier in the day inaugurated three township roads also inaugurated two rice milling machines, two ambulances and a delivery van for the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
Justifying his quest to run for a second term,Â Ishaku noted that he is laying a solid foundation for the rapid socio-economic development of the state through his rescue agenda and have delivered on his promises to the people of the state on assumption of office.
Iâ€™ve Taken Government to the People, Says Ayade
Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has said in the last three years, he was focused on the people by taking government to them.
Ayade said this when he led a walk around the city of Calabar, the state capital in celebration of May 29 Democracy Day.
Doing an introspection of his stewardship in the last three years while addressing a mammoth crowd that poured out to participate in the walk, Ayade said: â€œWhen you are a governor and you focus on the people, this is what you get because I have shifted government from a small number of people who before now thought that they were the Alpha and the Omega. I have commonised government, expanded it and taken it to the people that need it most. That is what has brought the atmosphere you see here today.â€
Rationalising the basis for his expanded government, the governor said: â€œCross River State has never had it so good, when almost every family has somebody in government,â€ adding that â€œthat is the secret because in a sluggish and developing economy, the focus is on the people, while infrastructure becomes secondary.â€
According to Ayade â€œIf people have not eaten, you cannot be thinking of doing roads for them. Food first. While my first term policy is food on the table by expanding government, I did so because I understand that in politics, the emphasis should be on the people.â€
Politicians Have Failed Us, Say
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) yesterday attributed the problems confronting democracy in Nigeria to politicians that have governed the country in the past 19 years.
The Christian body therefore urged Christians to be more active in politics and show more commitment to governance.
The National Vice President, South-south, Bishop Simeon Okah, in his Democracy Day message at the end of a one-day Holy Ghost revival service held at Akpajo in Rivers State, said the church can no longer leave politics and governance in the hands of â€œcrooksâ€ and expect positive development.
â€œI want to say here that the major problem that has hindered our democracy is the kind of characters that have governed us in the past 19 years. That is why I am calling on Christians all over the country to be more active in politics and show more commitment to governance.
â€œThe church cannot leave politics and governance in the hands of crooks and expects positive development. If we are serious about making progress as a nation, I call on all Christians now to begin preparation for the 2019 general election,â€ he added.