Nigeria @ 58: Saraki, Dogara preach unity, democratic consolidation
As Nigeria marks its 58th Independence anniversary, Senate President Bukola Saraki and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have pointed out the benefits of democracy and unity to the growth of Nigeria.
In the Independence messages to commemorate the anniversary posted on social media on Monday, Messrs Saraki and Dogara, separately noted that true democracy would result in good governance if canvassed for.
Mr Saraki said: “At this point in our collective history, democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. All Nigerians should see today, the occasion of our nation’s 58th Anniversary, as an opportunity to redefine what really constitutes “the Nigerian dream.” We must rally around this dream and support leaders who are capable, competent and prepared to realise this dream for all Nigerians.”
For Mr Dogara, “The effective functioning of the three tiers of government, a Nigeria that sees all citizens as equal and seeks to ensure that the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will surely emerge but all these can only be achieved through vigilant monitoring of elected leaders to ensure that the true tenets of democracy are preserved and practised.”
The speaker also noted that due to the failure of governments over the years to provide good governance that will translate into wealth and prosperity for the citizens, many citizens have lost hope in the country and now wonder if they can continue to depend on it for their happiness and lifetime goals.
“For some of our citizens who wonder whether they are in the position to invest their liberty in the pursuit of happiness, I want to say they shouldn’t despair, as there is hope for the living. That fully in the course of history, the rich and powerful have always interchanged places with the poor and vulnerable. So there is hope, and every reason for all Nigerians to celebrate this democracy,” he said.
Speaking on the impacts of the independence of the three arms of government in the discharge of their constitutional duties, Mr. Dogara added “As a matter of fact, in order for us to secure these rights, the framers of our constitution allocated governmental powers among three equal branches of government, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
“The three greatly working together makes it extremely necessary for compromise and consensus in governance. Whenever you see a democracy that is working; check it very well, it is consensus and compromise that drives it.”
However, Mr Saraki dwelt on the manipulative tendencies of government officials and politicians in the pursuit of their personal interests at the expense of the masses’.
“Nigerians should not allow government officials and politicians to continue manipulating them in pursuit of narrow interests,’ he said. “It is the only manipulation that will allow voters to ignore the competence, experience, suitability and temperament of aspirants for public office and rather focus on where they come from and how they worship their God.”
“Voters should intervene when the government places personal and group interests above national interests. Never again, must we allow leaders who behave as emperors, maximum rulers or messiahs and their cabals to seize control of our government and its machinery,” he urged
The two legislators emphasized the need for unity in the pursuance and realization of the country’s national objectives.
Both leaders were absent at the Eagle Square where the national event to commemorate the independence day held Monday morning.