I heartily felicitate fellow Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s Democracy Day.
This is the fourth time that we are celebrating the Day on June 12 since President Muhammadu Buhari made the change from May 29.
For the Nigerian people, June 12 is more than just a date.
It represents a milestone in our journey to entrench a democratic polity, as on that day 29 years ago, Nigerians rose above primordial sentiments and proclaimed the oneness of their nation and the unity of its peoole.
That day too, they proclaimed their preference for a democratic system that offers them good governance, freedom and life more abundant.
The statement of that day propelled us into the longest period of democracy in our nation’s history.
However, as we all know, democracy is a process that requires popular participation, tolerance of the views and rights of others and the spirit of sportsmanship for its sustenance.
As we march on in our democratic journey, we should always remember the tenets and rules of the game, respect the rights of others and faithfully discharge our civic responsibilities as important stakeholders in a nationbuilding project.
In our efforts to build a better nation, let’s be confident in our ability to turn things around for the good of all of us.
Our goal should be to build our nation with the bricks of equity, fairness and justice, so that it can withstand challenges as they may come.
The National Assembly will always be alive to its duties, as it did in the recent passage of the Electoral Reform Bill, now referred to as Electoral Act 2022, for which Parliament has received commendations from the great Nigerian public.
We passed the bill based on conviction and in appreciation of the need to strengthen our democratic processes and values, to make the processes more transparent and to engender the confidence of the people that we represent in the democratic process.
We believe that once we build the necessary safeguards and strengthen the confidence of Nigerians in the process, the outcomes will always represent their wishes.
As we approach another cycle of general elections next year, I enjoin us all to work for and be optimistic for the success of the elections.
Once again, I wish all Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.