According to Buddha ‘’Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened, that is because happiness shared never decreases’. Having said this I wish to use this medium to thank you all for finding time amidst your busy schedules to grace this occasion and to join us in sharing our joy, happiness, love and concern for our country, Nigeria which I believe will never decrease and also to say a big thank you to you all for giving me the honor to speak in this great gathering of great people of Nigeria. I’ll be addressing the issue of sustainability of democracy in Nigeria by looking at the effects of democracy so far on the global community

Democracy as we all know today is no longer just the government of the people, by the people and for the people but also an expression of the will of the people.

Taking a look at South Africa today we will all discover that it is one of the youngest democratic societies in the world. It barely turned twenty on the 27th of April, 2014 after suffering 42years of apartheid rule. Logically, one would say that 20years is quite little for them to achieve the needed changes in their society but today South Africa has experienced tremendous growth and development all connected with the dividends of democracy

In the case of Ghana, after a little over a decade of military rule, Ghanaians looked up to multi-party democracy with its benefits of material progress, guaranteed universal and economic freedom. After the National Democratic Council won the PROVISONAL National Defence Council in1992, they were in power for 8years during which Ghana experienced great financial sector reforms, educational growth and lots more.

When a society demands a change there is no need attempting to change it on old principles because each generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it. Sierra Leone and Libya could no longer leave the destiny of their country in the hands of cooked politicians and military adventurists so they took it upon themselves and brought a change to their present political system in the name of National Salvation and Liberation which they now enjoy today. Had it been they sat down and folded their arms, they would still be at the mercy of their oppressors.

Our famous writer, William Shakespeare in one of his quotes says; ‘’we know what we are but know not what we may be’’. Our country, Nigeria today is now enjoying the longest period of civilian rule since independence in 1960. During the 33years experience from 1966 until the 4th republic came into being in 1999, civilians only governed for a short while. Historically, therefore, the scarcity of democratic experience has created enormous challenges to institutionalizing democracy in Nigerian 4th Republic. Nevertheless, it is worthy to note that the past decade and especially since 1999, Nigeria has experienced positive growth and development.

Despite the legacy of brutal authoritarianism under General Abacha’s military rule, the civilian government from the time of president Olusegun Obasanjo down till our present day President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration, has to its credit made some significant improvement. It’s Economic Reform Program and Transformation Agenda has won the qualified praise of both international and national witnesses.

Nigeria today enjoys a lot of benefits from DEMOCRACY like; Civil Liberties, Freedom of Press, Good roads and infrastructures, Quality education, Stability, Agricultural growth, Youth and Women empowerment in government, growth in science and technology and lots more.

Pessimism and cynicism are widely spread in evaluating Nigerian democracy. The cynics from the 1990’s however would never have predicted that NIGERIA would now be poised to hold its third civilian election cycle nor would they have predicted that a true democrat would one day sit on that great throne as the president of this country. In 1999 only about 65% of Nigerians believed in democracy but today over 85% are clamouring for it. Our country has moved from being a rejected stone to being an influential voice since the inception of democracy. Our pride as a regional, continental and global power block has been enhanced since civilians assumed the saddle of leadership.

Finally, this is just to say that nothing is impossible because looking closely at that word impossible comes the word I’m possible in every situation in life. Choose wisely Nigerians and remain blessed.


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