Peter Obi’s Democracy Day Message: Restoring Trust and Building a New Nigeria
Today, on June 12, we commemorate Democracy Day in Nigeria, a historic occasion that deserves celebration. Back in 1993, despite being under military rule, the Nigerian people expressed their unwavering preference for true democracy. We exercised our right to choose through a transparent voting process, disregarding divisions of ethnicity, religion, and region. This unique combination of qualities is what makes June 12 significant in our pursuit of genuine democracy.
We remember and honor the late Chief M. K.O Abiola, who was hailed as a deserving leader by Nigerians, as well as governments and people around the world. June 12 symbolizes our collective journey towards establishing Nigeria as a true democracy.
However, our current political landscape tells a different story. Our democracy is plagued with deep troubles, while the fate of our nation remains uncertain and precarious. We are a country still grappling with numerous fundamental problems. One critical issue is the need for a credible electoral system that can earn the trust, confidence, and belief of ALL Nigerians, just like June 12 did.
Therefore, as we commemorate June 12, let us seize the opportunity to return to the core virtues of a truly democratic nation, which we achieved on that significant day in 1993.
In the spirit of June 12, we must establish an electoral system that genuinely inspires trust among the people. This is a fundamental principle of democracy, based on respecting the will of the people as expressed through their votes.
Above all, the government must respect and safeguard the institutions of the democratic state by honoring the social contract with the people. This means meeting their needs, listening to their wishes, and fulfilling the responsibilities of responsible governance as outlined in the constitution. A crucial aspect of government’s duty is upholding the rule of law.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in an era where these foundational pillars of democracy are undermined by rampant impunity, widespread violence, and loss of lives.
The trust deficit between leaders and Nigerians continues to widen. The lack of trust and efficiency in our recent elections vividly demonstrates this problem.
The challenge of June 12 and the significance of Democracy Day lie in inspiring us to rectify the mistakes of our past elections. By doing so, we can restore the confidence of our people in the future of our nation and the promise of true democracy.
Nevertheless, we must not lose faith in the inherent design of our democratic system to self-correct.
Personally, I remain committed and convinced that a New Nigeria is possible. Our vision for a nation built on equity, justice, security, and peace is not a mere utopia. Nigeria is abundantly blessed with human and natural resources. What we lack are selfless leaders who are dedicated to the national interest, sustainable development, and innovative thinking that provides every Nigerian, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or social standing, the freedom to choose their path and ensures the protection of lives, property, and civil liberties. These aspirations are not only real but also achievable. I reiterate my promise to Nigerians that we will persist in our fight to establish a leadership that prioritizes their well-being.