As Nigerians celebrate the 19th anniversary of the country’s return to democracy, on Tuesday, a front- line politician and governorship aspirant in Imo State, Hon. Nick Opara-Ndudu, has assured citizens of a better future and urged them to be ready for real democracy dividend next year, when a better government committed to the people would be installed in the state.
Opara-Ndudu, who is seeking the ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the 2019 gubernatorial election, in the state, felicitated with Imo citizens on the anniversary and enjoined them to be confident in their determinations to consolidate democracy in the country, while assuring them of the light in the tunnel for them in 2019.
He spoke when he received members of the Centre for Democracy Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN) led by Kelechi Ariwado, who came to pay him a courtesy visit in his country home in Emekuku in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state.
The former commissioner told his guests that if he secured the mandate of the people to preside over the affairs of Imo State in the election, he would make the people to see and enjoy the beauty of democracy.
Since democracy is a people-oriented government, Opara-Ndudu, said the people should be made to enjoy all the benefits that have made it the most attractive system of government in the world.
“Nigeria returned to competitive democracy in 1999 after decades of military rule. It was a thing of joy for Nigerians who had hoped for a life much better than during the military era.
“But as glasses clatter in Government Houses across the country in celebration, many Nigerians are still expecting the fulfillment of the promised democracy dividend made to them by the political class.
“Only a few Nigerians could testify that democratic rule from 1999 to date has direct positive impact on their lives.
“Among the few beneficiaries are members of the political elites in the state and their cronies just as the people do not have connections with their so-called leaders.”
Opara-Ndudu, who is a former bank boss, noted that democracy, as a system of government based on the consent of the governed, is a situation where the people’s voice is government decisions, freedom of speech association and movement, adding that it is also about inclusiveness, contrary to what currently obtains in Imo State and the country in general.
He said he would put things right next year if the people give him the mandate to run the affairs of the state in addition to providing jobs, quality education, and building a resilient economy through industrialisation and mechanised agriculture.
Earlier, Ariwador, who led the team expressed confidence in Hon. Opara-Ndudu, saying that he has all the qualities to liberate Imo State from misrule.
He also urged Imolites to put APGA-led government in the state next year in order to consolidate on democracy and for the economic development of the state.