Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings over governance as the country celebrates its 14th Democracy Day . [viralpullquote ]Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings over governance as the country celebrates its 14th Democracy Day .[/viralpullquote]
The Federal Government had declared May 29 Democracy Day in 2000 to commemorate the return of civil rule after many years of military governance of the country.
Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, handed over power to President Olusegun Obasanjo on May 29, 1999 and the year after, the latter declared the date a national holiday.
Commenting on the celebration, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters’ Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, urged Nigerians to offer special prayers for peace, unity and national stability.
Khalid told reporters in Abuja that prayer was the only way for the country to sustain its democracy.
“We are calling on Nigerians to intensify prayers for the strengthening of our evolving democracy in line with international best practices,’’ Khalid said.
He, however, advised Nigerian leaders to address issues of justice and equity to achieve meaningful development.
“The current wave of insecurity and social injustice in the country are great threats to people’s liberty and freedom, which is against the values of real democratic society,’’ Khalid said.
He advised government at all levels to be more proactive in addressing poverty by creating conducive atmosphere for industrialisation.
On their part, some Christina leaders called for an end to corruption to achieve the potential of democratic governance.
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Ignatius Kiagama, told NAN in Jos that corruption in government had become so devastating and assumed a culture emulated by others.
Kaigama said corruption had created laziness among the people, who felt satisfied with immediate gains.
The archbishop, however, said that there was a remedy if individuals would come to terms that government had not been doing enough to empower them and resort to identifying and putting their potential to best use in creating wealth.
“There is a lot that can be done by individuals since government has not been doing enough to empower them.
“Look at the vast farmlands we have, the vast opportunities we have in our young people who should be contributing enormously to the growth of the nation.
“But because people are so self-centred, corruption has become so devastating that people don’t ever see goodness again. People are just satisfied with just what brings them immediate dividends,’’ the bishop said.
The President of Church of Christ In Nations, Rev. Soja Bewarang, described corruption as a tragedy that had befallen Nigeria and a burden on the common man.
He said that the common man had been suffering under the burden of corruption, which kept growing everyday.
“The interesting aspect about it is that fresh cases keep coming to light almost on daily basis leading to shattered dreams, dashed hope, misery and despair,’’ he said.. (NAN)