Gambari: Don’t Allow Militarised Governance to Truncate Nation’s Democracy
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, has said that despite the plethora of challenges facing the country and tough times, democratic governance still offers the best chance for achieving goals of national transformation.
Delivering 12th convocation lecture of the Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, titled ‘Democratic Transition and Challenges of Good Governance and Human Security in Nigeria’ Prof. Gambari said that Nigerians should not allow any form of militarised governance to truncate the nation’s democracy.
Gambari, who said that unity of the country provides the most solid platform for realising national greatness, added that, “we must not permit the enemies of the Nigerian state to triumph over the legitimate aspiration for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation.”
The President’s aide also said that challenges of human security afflicting democracies is a global phenomenon, adding that, “The central question that is posed is how democracy can be renewed and reinvigorated to better serve the needs of citizens?
“It is here that I feel the Nigerian scholarly community in general has its work cut out for, including you at Al- Hikmah.
“At a time of when students of democracy around the world are stepping up their work on how democratic governance could be recalibrated to meet the challenges of very rapidly changing times, our scholarly community must rise to the challenge of how, in our context, elected government can be ushered to a new phase that will enable leaders to answer the problems of the day.”
Gambari, who was the first Under Secretary General and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said that obstacles to the nation’s quest for delivery of dividends of democracy are a number of domestic factors.
“Among these factors is the significantly weakened capacity of our public service institutions, the
persistence of corruption in the public sector, especially, and a sharp decline in ethical values in society.
“In the face of these challenges, generalised human security has proved quite elusive to win. As unemployment, poverty, and inequality have persisted, a fertile ground has fostered itself as to enable the emergence of an array of enemies of Nigerian democratisation.
“These anti-democratic forces include the admixture of radical extremist groups, trans-frontier and home-grown criminal gangs, different groups of pirates, and bearers of violent ethno-regional irredentism, etc.
“Combating these groups and countering their anti-secular, separatist and violent ideologies have been at the heart of the governance of national security.
“Under President Muhammadu Buhari, significant strides have been made in the implementation of the administration tripod programmes on Security,
Economy and Anti-Corruption.
“The score card is there for any objective analysis. In addition to massive infrastructural projects and his commitment to free and fair elections.
“At the end of his second and final tenure in office, on May 29, 2023, the President would leave Nigeria a legacy of safer, more diversified and growing economy and more united country than he inherited in 2015.”