•We expect free, fair polls in 2019 –International community
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja, with agency reports
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has harped on the need to preserve the fundamental ingredients of the nation’s democracy.
He said this in a goodwill message to celebrate this year’s Democracy Day.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said: “The core blessings of democracy are liberties, human rights, rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, independent electoral umpire, independent Judiciary and independent Legislature; which combine to deliver good governance.
“Democracy does not envisage a situation where any arm of government, no matter how well intended, expropriates or discountenances the constitutional roles of other arms. Wilful disregard for these basic elements and flagrant abuse of critical institutions of democracy portend grave danger for democracy. It is recipe for anarchy and slow poison to democracy…”
From Bayelsa, the state government described 19 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria as one of the best things to happen to Nigeria, since1960.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson stated this in a statement released to journalists, in Yenagoa, to commemorate the 2018 Democracy Day.
The commissioner said in the last six years, the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson has provided stable leadership that has largely accommodated all forms of criticism in the state.
He explained that the governor has also allowed dissenting voices to be heard, “just as he has given opposition political parties access to government facilities to hold their activities.”
Iworiso-Markson described Dickson as “a true democrat, who is always willing to sacrifice anything for democracy to thrive.” Meanwhile, the international community has asked Nigerians to ensure the consolidation and deepening of democracy in the country.
The international community stated that it expects free and fair elections in Nigeria, in 2019.
The call was made in a statement signed by the European Union, Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
The statement was released in Abuja, yesterday, by the Press Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Politics, Press and Information Section, Mr Modestus Chukwulaka.
“We join Nigerians in celebrating the day on which democracy and civilian rule were restored. In Nigeria, as in so many of our countries, the right for all citizens to enjoy equal participation in the democratic process was achieved after considerable struggle and suffering. We remember and celebrate all those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today…As we celebrate your progress, we encourage and support Nigeria and its people to consolidate and deepen democracy as the country heads towards important elections next year Who will win the general elections in 2019 is a decision for the Nigerian people. Our concern as partners of Nigeria is to see a process that is free, fair and inclusive. We are particularly keen to see greater participation in politics from under-represented groups, including women, young people and people with disabilities.
“We offer our strong support to the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) and welcome the technical improvements they have introduced to the electoral process,” they said.