As Nigeria marks its maiden June 12 Democracy Day, the citizens, as well as institutions, have been called upon to preserve the peace amid insecurity in the land.
Since the wake of the Fourth Republic in 1999, the country had been celebrating its Democracy Day on May 29, the day the military regime handed over power you the civilian regime of Olusegun Obasanjo. However, agitations by pro-democracy groups forced the Federal Government to change it to June 12, the date Nigeria had its most credible election.
The late business mogul, Moshood Abiola, with a Muslim-Muslim ticket, was presumed to have won the election on June 12, 1993. But the regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) annulled the election. In his bid to claim the mandate, Abiola died in prison.
The #FixPolitics initiative, in a statement issued by its Spokesperson, Ozioma Ubabukoh, expressed concern over the widespread insecurity, rising ethnocentrism and other socio-political and religious challenges in the country.
The ‘#FixPolitics Statement on the State of the Nation’ was signed by the initiative’s Executive Director, Tony Ubani; and co-chairs, Professor Remi Sonaiya (Constitutional, Political and Electoral Reforms) and Frank Nweke II (Empowered and Engaged Electorate) to mark the Democracy Day.
“We must each be seen to act to keep the peace and preserve the union. We must act urgently and swiftly to rise to the crest of a renewed hope in Nigeria, where we can dare to dream of reaching our full potential as individuals, communities and one nation,” #FixPolitics stated.
The group maintained that it remained focused on the fundamental issues of the basis of Nigeria’s unity as concerning its future as a nation.
“At times like this, the true hope for restoration and a brighter tomorrow lies as much in the hands of each of us, as it does in our voices,” it added.
According to #FixPolitics, peace, unity and security can only be achieved by allowing dialogue to replace threats and constructive engagement to replace the drums of war.
It, however, expressed deep concern over escalating insecurity spreading rapidly.
“We are deeply concerned that the nation is at a crossroads where widespread insecurity, rising ethnocentrism, economic recession characterised by rising food prices and an intolerably high rate of unemployment, are driving millions of young people into hopelessness and crime.
“We must, together, find a solution that works for all. We are one another’s keepers, and everyone must stand for others, rather than become factionalised, which would be counter-productive,” the group stated.
#FixPolitics also urged the citizens to forbid all forms of ethnic and religious divides to fix the country’s politics, and reclaim its rights to good governance from actors who have failed to serve for the collective interest.
It said, “#FixPolitics sees politics as the major influence on creating a society anchored on social justice, citizens’ rights, and shared prosperity.
“If we must restore our nation to the path of greatness that the founding nationalists envisaged, we must urgently correct the fundamentally flawed system that divorces political representation and executive action by political officeholders, from accountability to the people.”
Urging the citizens to get involved, be the voice for peace, stop the attacks and be partners in securing the community, the initiative added, “The security of our neighbourhoods require that citizens collaborate and cooperate with community leaders and the formal security system on strategies that help to protect all law-abiding residents and indigenes, including security assets and personnel, without whom we are all at risk.”
The group also urged the government to act, build back social capital and restore the citizens’ trust as well as demonstrate accountability to the Rule of Law.
“It is time to act. Concrete action must be swiftly taken to restore security with respect for human rights. The constitutional duty of the government to secure the life and right of citizens is inviolable and non-negotiable. This is the fundamental social contract between the government and the people, and it must not be neglected.”
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.