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Fashola, Obasa, envoys urge Nigerians to protect democracy

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Babatunde Fashola

Foreign diplomats alongside the former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; and the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, have urged Nigerians to protect democratic values.

Obasa at a Lagos event stressed that democracy had benefitted Nigeria since 1999 when the country began its Fourth Republic.

This was revealed in a statement by the Speaker’s media aide, Eromosele Ebhomele, on Thursday.

The Speaker said Nigeria deserved to celebrate because in the last 25 years, the country had successfully transferred power from one administration to another, and upheld the principles of representation, accountability, and the rule of law.

“Our democracy has endured despite challenges and setbacks. We have faced elections, protests, and debates, but our commitment to democracy has remained unwavering.

“We have demonstrated that democracy is not a destination but a journey, and we are proud to be on this path. We must continue to guard it jealously, for it is the foundation upon which the fabric of our nation’s progress is built.”

On his part, Fashola said 25 years of democracy had provided an opportunity for effective representation of the people as well as freedom to make laws.

Urging Nigerians to hold on to democracy very jealously, he said  the federal system practised in Nigeria remained important for the country’s growth.

“For those who are understandably impatient with democracy, I hear them. It can be a tedious way to govern. There is no better way to order our affairs. I will not trade the liberties it offers for anything else,” the former minister said.

The Consul General of the French embassy in Lagos, Laurent Favier, while congratulating Nigeria, said, “Democracy is not a state of perfection but something people have to fight for at all times. It is a political structure that must be deepened.”

He expressed satisfaction with how democracy in Nigeria had ensured freedom just as he urged the country not to relent in making citizens happy.

On the other hand, the Consul General of Germany, Weert Börner, said his country with 16 states, practiced same federal system as Nigeria adding that this resulted in healthy competition.

He affirmed that Nigerians enjoy freedom of opinions, one of the characteristics of democracy.

The Consul General of the Embassy of Italy, Ugo Boni, assured that the government of his country would continue to be a trustworthy companion of Nigeria while the British Deputy High Commissioner, Lagos, Jonny Baxter, said, “In these challenging times, it is important that we support each other in our shared commitment to democracy.

 “Nigeria’s democratic resilience and significance in West Africa serves as an example to other nations seeking to strengthen and protect their own democracies.”

 “The UK looks forward to partnering with Lagos and Nigeria in the next 25 years and more.”

Michael Ervin, political and economic section chief at the US Consulate General, Lagos, said Nigeria is an example of how diverse people can unite and ensure freedom for all.

He congratulated the Lagos Assembly and noted that Lagos opened the door to the development of Nigeria.

Nigerians on Wednesday observed Democracy Day in honour of late Chief Moshood Abiola, the adjudged winner of the 1993 presidential election that was annulled by the military junta.

Several protesters also hit the streets on Wednesday in more than five states including the Federal Capital Territory, demanding an end to economic hardship.

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