In his last Democracy Day speech on June 12 2022 as the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari promises a free, fair and transparent electoral process during the 2023 general elections.
The President’s Democracy Day Speech:
Fellow Nigerians, Today, June The 12th, marks another Democracy Day anniversary and an occasion to celebrate freedom and unity of our Nation.
2. From 1999, we consistently celebrated Democracy Day to mark the end of military rule and the return of power and control into the hands of those freely elected by the people. On this day, Nigerians recommit themselves to ensuring we protect and preserve the ideals of democracy.
3. In 2018, we moved Democracy Day from 29th of May to the 12th of June. This change was to remind all Nigerians of one free election after which the presumed winner along with Nigerians were denied their rights and their choice.
4. On June 12th 1993, Nigerians saw the best in our citizens as we all went out to vote peacefully. By June 24th 1993, we also saw the worst of our leadership as the elections were annulled.
5. We must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy during 1993. Their patriotism and peaceful struggle should guide our actions especially when it comes to electing our leaders and holding them accountable, now and in future.
6. Fellow Nigerians this is my last Democracy Day speech as your President. By June 12th, 2023, exactly one year from today, you will already have a new President. I remain committed and determined to ensure that the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.
7. It is important for all of us to remember that June 12th, 2023 will be exactly 30 years from the 1993 Presidential elections. In honour and memory of one of our national heroes for democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, GCFR, we must all work together to ensure this transition is done in a peaceful manner.
8. I am hopeful that we can achieve this. The signs so far are positive. Recently, all registered political parties conducted primaries to select their candidates for the 2023 general elections.
9. These primaries were peaceful and orderly. Those who won were magnanimous in their victories. Those who lost were gracious in defeat. And those aggrieved opted to seek judicial justice as opposed to jungle justice.
10. I followed the party primaries closely from the state level to the Presidential level. I was very impressed to see across all the political parties that, most candidates ran issued based campaigns. The language and tone throughout were on the whole measured and controlled.
11. Another positive that came from the 2022 party primaries was the significant increase in women and youth particularly across all parties. I was very pleased to see this development. This augurs well for the future. These trends clearly show the level of maturity our democracy has achieved in the last 23 years.
12. As we move into the general election campaign season, we must sustain this mature attitude to campaigning and ultimately, voting. We must never see it as a “do or die” affair. We must all remember democracy is about the will of the majority. There must be winners and losers.
13. I will therefore take this opportunity on this very special day to ask all candidates to continue running issue focused campaigns and to treat opponents with dignity. As leaders, you must all showcase high character and never forget that the world is watching us and Africa looks up to Nigeria to provide example in governance. The tone you set at the top will surely be replicated in your followers.
14. For the voters, I am pleased to inform you that in the last 7 years, our government across all tiers, has made significant investments to reform and enhance our electoral laws, systems, and processes to safeguard your votes.
15. The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary were and still remain united and committed to ensure these reforms are fully implemented in the 2023 general elections. Fellow Nigerians, your right to choose your government will be preserved and protected.
16. I know many of us are concerned with the rise in insecurity due to terrorist activities in parts of the country. As a government, we are working hard to contain and address these challenges. And ensure that the 2023 general elections are safe and secure for all Nigerians.
17. To achieve this however, we must all contribute. It is not the job of government alone. I ask all citizens to support and cooperate with our security agencies by reporting any suspicious characters and activities to law enforcement agencies. We can only have a safe country if we are able to prevent crime not after the crime has been committed.
18. On this special day, I want us all to put all victims of terrorist activities in our thoughts and prayers. I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping. I and the security agencies are doing all we can to free those unfortunate countrymen and countrywomen safely.
19. For those who have lost their lives, we will continue to seek justice for their families against the perpetrators. For those currently in captivity, we will not stop until they are freed, and their kidnappers are brought to justice. If we all unite, we will be victorious against these agents of terror and destruction.
20. We have reformed some of our security structures. Some of the defence assets we procured three years ago have arrived and have been deployed.
21. Our cyber security and surveillance systems are being upgraded to further enhance our ability to track and trace criminal elements. We are also recruiting and training new personnel across all our security and intelligence agencies to strengthen the country’s over-all security.
22. I will conclude this Democracy Day speech, my last as President, by assuring you of my commitment to protect Nigeria and Nigerians from all enemies from within and outside.
23. I am also promising you a free, fair and transparent electoral process. And I am pleading with all citizens to come together and work with Government to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
24. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A Mistake in 2023 Will Ruin Any Hope Left of Nigeria as a Nation
Article by Hashim Suleiman
At 39 years of age, I have been privileged to have obtained 16 years working experience non-stop and these years are spread around all the geopolitical zones of the country and those who know me know I’m open minded enough to mingle deep into people I come across with a view of integrating and enriching my life living strategies and skills.
This makes me loaded enough to understand the demography of Nigeria as well as a fair understanding of the likely outcomes of events related to national development. In these years, I equally made mistakes owing to certain misconceptions and the outcomes of it have added to my experiences.
The key tool to ensure such development of a country in a democracy is politics and the understanding and/or lack of it determines the stability that would create a room to develop or not. However, the participation in politics has over the years been tainted by economic insecurities and greed to the point where people appear to have not learnt any mistakes regarding the choices they’ve made but I also understand that the opinion of the majority of voters are decided by the elites who control them by way of economy, belief and tribe and the question will now be whether these elites have seen the writing on the wall regarding the likely outcomes of 2023 or not?
The key among the problems of the nation at this period is disunity but those who are comfortable in their corners are blinded to see any problems with this and we should remind them.
The insecurities happening all over the country are a result of decayed morals and disunity and nothing more. When so much hatred has been disseminated into people to the extent that it has become a habit, what do you expect the offspring of such individuals to be, also full of hate and such hate has led to mutual suspicion over the time and finally to killings and unrest.
No part of the country is isolated from this problem and has the potential of graduating from inter communal to inter country if not managed well because at the moment, no one is talking about it except some of the candidates and it resonates with me.
Some people mistake infrastructural development as the real development but it is too much love for luxury and enjoyment that makes them see it like that. A country like Gambia does not have as much infrastructure as Nigeria but the Europeans consider it as their best destination for vacation as against Lagos or Calabar that have the same beaches but lack security, sanity and serenity.
So they get enough FOREX to carry out their economic activities while we’re here and break off it. This should amplify the need for peace and unity.
We are now faced with elections around the corner and the arguments appear as some have forgotten or don’t know about these very serious issues and are about making same mistakes, now let me break down what a mistake would do to eroding any hope left of a country called Nigeria, I would have added United country but the reality is Nigeria is not United as this moment, the cracks and red flags are too glaring for anyone to see.
Anyone who votes you based on some creed or personal expectations will naturally develop a sense of entitlement and once such expectation do not start to come in the first three months of administration, agitations start and ego will not let the president who was insincere enough to use divisions to win to agree to correct those perceived injustices and trouble starts, this is in addition to the so many that are currently on the ground and then your guess about the state of the nation will be as good as mine- CHAOS.
Therefore, more than ever before, Nigeria only needs competence, experience and a nationalist who genuinely believes in the oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria and such person who comes with this has to also come with clean hands from day one and not any form of skewed tendencies and whether the voters understand this or not remains to be seeing in the coming days but the word of caution must be sounded!!!
May God bless our dear and beloved country Nigeria, some of us have a passion for her wellbeing!!
Hashim Suleiman writes from Abuja. He can be reached via [email protected]
Nigerian Actor and Politician Kenneth Okonkwo lashes out on the PDP and APC presidential candidates for not adhering to rules
The Nigerian Actor and Politician, Kenneth Okonkwo has slammed the APC’s and PDP’s Presidential candidates for not implementing the major rule involved in running for presidency, which is being very physically very active in the activities involved to show that they are sound in their mind and body. For example, He stated that none of the mentioned party’s candidate have gone for interviews which means the citizens don’t even know what they have in mind and plans for them.
The Actor who had been a member of the All Progressive Congress party all the while, just recently resigned from it to join the Labour Party. In his interview, he stated that he can not be in a party where it’s candidates are unaware of their responsibilities based on the written manifestos that’s usually laid down for them. He further made it clear that they lacked structure so he had to move to a party that knows and stands with and for their structure.
He calls Peter Obi the only greatest marketer of his brand.
Watch the video of all he had to say below and tell us what you think about his opinion.
Group celebrates Obiano at 67, lauds sterling developmental strides
FORMER Governor Willie Obiano has been commended for his quiet leadership and sterling achievements while in office as Anambra State chief executive.
Making the commendation during the celebration of the former governor’s 67th birthday recently, Anambra Development Union enumerated 67 signature projects delivered by the Obiano administration in the state. The socio-political group recalled that the former governor, fondly called ‘Akpokuedike’, demonstrated commitment to and genuine love for the people, the state and Nigeria in general. In a written address on the occasion, which was presided over by Alex Osaemeka and Chukwuka Udeokeke, ADU listed the 67 impactful projects that Obiano initiated and completed to include the first flyover in Awka, the state capital; the first digital databank for Anambra farmers and active situation room for progress monitoring and evaluation; introduction of Anambra rice; as well as introduction of the state’s brand signature with a new anthem, logo, core values and colours. Praising the Anambra Rice brand, which has been described as the best in Africa, ADU said it is gratifying to note that Chief Obiano did not make much noise about his achievements while in office. “As we celebrate Akpokuedike today and many years to come, may we never forget that His Excellency tarred over 1,000 kilometres of roads in the state, was first in integrating social media and e-Governance, and was the most tolerable to rants, attacks and insults that come with leadership. “His Light-Up Anambra initiative reinvigorated nightlife in the state, thereby creating a 24-hour economy, built the International Convention Centre in the state, and restored the dignity of our traditional institutions by putting a stop to the idea of inviting and arresting monarchs by the Nigerian police, and gave them brand new Innoson vehicles.” Osaemeka, who is a development expert, remarked that by making Anambra the first state in the South East and second to Rivers in Nigeria in the Fiscal Sustainability Index, Obiano remains the state's unsung hero. “With that singular feat in FSI, the former governor outperformed Lagos, Kano and 32 other states, just as he was able to offset N1.8bn of pension arrears, while maintaining regular monthly payment of salary, in line with his promise to deliver on physical and human infrastructure,” he stated. Obiano, a native of Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, was born on August 8, 1957 and served as governor from March 17, 2014 to March 17, 2022. Before his election into office as governor, he had worked with two top Nigerian commercial banks, First Bank and Fidelity Bank, and excelled as a top flight auditor and risk analyst. He also had a stint with Shell Petroleum Development Company. It was based on his excellent service record that the people of Anambra beckoned him to serve the state as governor after his retirement from Fidelity Bank as Executive Director.