By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye
The President, Muhammadu Buhari, has said that, contrary to the impression being created by critics that he is committed to free, fair election, adding that only that can help us a nation to reach our goal of “a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state reckoned with globally.”
“My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger,” he said.
The President who gave this assurance in a Democracy Day broadcast to mark six years of his administration reeled out his achievements with a promise to do more. He also commiserated with families of fallen servicemen and victims of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of violence ravaging the country at the moment and promised to do all within his power to reverse the state of insecurity so as to sustain and deepen the gains of democracy in the country.
“I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day,” he said, in the nationwide broadcast relayed to Nigerians through national radio and TV stations. “It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria. As with all democracies we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.”
But to achieve that he noted calls for a collective efforts adding that every Nigerian needs to play their parts. Referring to the spiraling cycle of violence which had seen many people, the servicemen fighting to protect our nation and civilians alike losing their lives and plunging their families into sorrow, he assured them of his sympathy but also doing everything within his power to see that they did not die in vain by addressing the issue of insecurity squarely.
He said: “I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe. I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders. I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment. Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”
On the allegation that he does not listen to people’s cries or yearnings, he noted that his administration’s decision to change the Democracy Day from 299h May to June 12, serves as a clear proof that he does.
“When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life,” he said in a national broadcast.
He noted that the “indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us. I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.”