BUHARI COUNTS GAINS OF DEMOCRACY, REVELS PROGRESS IN ECONOMY, SECURITY

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Muhammadu Buhari

While praising the contribution of Nigerians to national development, Buhari said he was upset by increasing cases of violence against women in recent times, particularly the rape of young girls, pledging the federal government’s preparedness to deploy extant laws to fight violence against women.

“I salute your courage, enterprise and resilience, as well as your contributions to national development. I wish to assure all our women of this administration’s determination to fight Gender Based Violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation.

“I am particularly upset at recent incidents of rape, especially of very young girls. The Police are pursuing these cases with a view to bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to swift justice,” he said.

He thanked the media for what he described as their “doggedness in the struggle for attainment of democracy since the beginning of our nationhood,” noting that even though the relationship of successive governments with the media had not been smooth, they have remained “an effective watchdog for the society, especially in holding public officers to account.”

PDP: Buhari’s June 12 Broadcast, a Slap on Democracy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the president’s Democracy Day address as a huge and unpardonable slap on the face of the nation’s democratic process.

According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, “Our party stresses that President Buhari’s silence on the values of democracy, as well as the myriads of violations under his watch has further vindicated its stance and that of majority of Nigerians that the Buhari administration has no regard for democracy and is not prepared to uphold its tenets in our country.”

PDP urged Nigerians to note that the President’s speech had no space for Chief MKO Abiola, stating, “This only goes to show that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have no regard for Chief Abiola and the essence of June 12, but only used their nomenclature to gain selfish political capital.”

The PDP further said, “It is scandalous that on a day like this, President Buhari had no assurances on electoral reforms and credible election; which is the hallmark of democracy.”
Also, the PDP said, the President had no words of assurance towards respect for the constitution, particularly the principles of separation of powers, federal character, equality, equity, fairness, transparency and respect for the sensibilities of the federal structure.

Rather, it said that the President and his handlers sought to divert attention from their failures and violations associated with this administration by taking the nation on a merry-go-round of recycled false performance claims that are not backed by any empirical or verifiable data.

Moreover, he said that Nigerians have been in shock that while bandits were busy killing compatriots in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno, Kogi and various parts of the nation, even on the eve of his broadcast, President Buhari was claiming that his government had secured the nation.

The PDP, however, urged Nigerians not to resign to despondency or allow the failures and violations of the APC administration to erode their faith in the nation’s democracy but should remain united in their commitment to the stability of the nation.

PANDEF: Buhari’s Address Fell Below Expectation of Citizens

The apex socio-cultural body of Niger Delta people, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has punctured the 2020 Democracy Day address of the president, saying the presentation fell short of the expectation of the general public.

The Forum, however, called for unity and greater understanding among Nigerians as they celebrate June 12 as the new democracy day in the country.

PANDEF in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, described President Buhari’s broadcast to the nation as rhetoric, apathetic and largely, a promissory note, as usual.

According to him, PANDEF had expected to hear commitment from the president on the Amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act, which he withheld assent to in 2019; particularly, with off-season gubernatorial elections around the corner in Edo and Ondo states.

PANDEF, further expressed regret that the only achievement in the Niger Delta that President Buhari could cite in his address, was the supposed completion of an NDDC Head Office.

“Apparently, the only interest of the federal government in the Niger Delta is sustained crude oil production, while the people of the region continue to suffer socioeconomic and infrastructural depravity. The strategic East – West Road, which traverses six states of the Region, has been abandoned, and rendered a sanctuary for criminals, and a deathtrap. Phase five of the Road, from Oron – Calabar has been totally forgotten,” PANDEF said.

Afenifere: Buhari’s Speech Failed to Address Real Issues Affecting the Nation
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has said President Buhari’s democracy day speech failed to address real issues confronting the nation.

The group, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin yesterday described the speech as a long one that was very short on the fundamental issues that are making Nigeria seekers of debts at a time we should be seeking ways to generate wealth.

It stated that the group had expected the president to give report of the steps in the democracy journey, especially on a Democracy Day like June 12.

Hafsat Abiola: Nigerians Poorer After dad’s Death

The daughter of the late Moshood Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, has expressed concern over the poverty level in Nigeria.

She spoke at the Lagos State Democracy Day Youth Webinar.

Abiola-Costello lamented that the poverty that her father campaigned to fight against had become one of Nigeria’s greatest challenges.

She also regretted “the direction of Nigeria,” saying “I feel deeply honoured. My family feels deeply honoured. I’ve been receiving emails and messages saying Happy Democracy. At the same time, I’m concerned about the direction of the country.

“June 12 was meant to address poverty in Nigeria. But we still have more poverty in Nigeria and even more people in poverty in Nigeria. This is what my father campaigned to fight against. and it is still there after his death, I am concerned.

“My father was a pan-Africanist engaging in national issues. We need to return to that, so that we can have inclusive growth.”

She urged the government to put a workable economic system in place, urging leaders in the country to shun ideas that have been “invalidated globally.

“Nigeria exists within a larger continental and global economic contest. We need to challenge the ideas that have been invalidated globally.

“My message to the Nigerian young people is not to lose faith. The whole continent is looking to Nigeria for leadership. We have that self-confidence and need to exercise that leadership responsibly,” she said.