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Democracy Though Complicated, Remains Our Best Bet – Tinubu


In a national broadcast commemorating Nigeria’s 25th anniversary of uninterrupted democracy, President Bola Tinubu described democracy as Nigeria’s best bet despite what he described as its complications.

While acknowledging the challenges inherent in democratic governance, Tinubu urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in upholding democratic values.

“No matter how complicated democracy may be, it is the best form of governance in the long run,” he asserted, cautioning against attempts to undermine the democratic process.

Speaking from Abuja on June 12, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, Tinubu emphasised the transformative power of democracy, declaring it as the “best form of governance in the long run.”

He said, “The power of an idea, the power of the people proved more potent than all the guns and munitions,” Tinubu remarked, reflecting on Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democracy in 1999.

He underscored the importance of democratic ideals in shaping the nation’s identity, portraying Nigeria as a beacon of democratic self-determination on the African continent.

He said, “The nation exited the yoke of military rule in 1999 to become the most populous democracy on African soil, the beacon of democratic self-determination for the black race and one of the largest democracies in the world.

“This change stands as a pivotal moment in human history. From this change, we shall never turn, nor shall the annals of mankind’s progress forget the sublime meaning of this great moment.

“Today, 25 years later, we celebrate the silver anniversary of our journey in democracy. We have steadied the course.

“Democracy is neither a foreign nor abstract concept devoid of real-life meaning for us.

“Neither can we afford to reduce or minimalise it to being nothing but the mere holding of periodic elections where one candidate and party outdo another.”

Tinubu warned against the threat posed by those seeking to exploit current challenges to subvert democracy for personal gain.

“These people do this not to make things better but to subject all other people and things to their control and dominance,” he cautioned, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding democratic institutions against such threats.

Reflecting on Nigeria’s democratic journey, Tinubu called for a renewed commitment to economic democracy, acknowledging the nation’s economic challenges.

“As we celebrate the enshrinement of our political democracy, let us commit ourselves to the fulfilment of its equally important counterpart, the realization of our economic democracy,” he said.

The president said true democracy shone its light into the daily lives of the people who lived under its nurturing wings.

He said, “It affords us the freedom and liberty to think as we want, live where we want and pursue whatever legitimate endeavour that suits us.

“Democracy does not assume some false or forced unity of opinion.

“In fact, democracy assumes that conflicting ideas and differing opinions shall be the order of the day.

“Given the diversity and variety of the human experience, there must be diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

“What democracy demands is that we do not resolve differences through force and repression. But we make allowance for the legitimacy of views that differ from our own.

“Where other forms of government impose against the will of the people, democracy aims to make leaders sufficiently humble that they conduct themselves as servants of the common good, not as viceroys of the narrow interests of the mighty.”

The president’s remarks come at a critical juncture in Nigeria’s history, with the nation facing various political and economic challenges.

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