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Democracy Day Address: Seven Significant Statements Made By Tinubu

On Monday, President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu delivered his inaugural Democracy Day Speech, marking his first address since assuming office. Lasting approximately fifteen minutes, the president briefly discussed the significance of June 12 and its historical importance.

Furthermore, President Tinubu acknowledged the current challenges faced by citizens during this critical juncture in the nation’s history. He emphasized his administration’s unwavering commitment to diligently fulfilling every aspect of the electoral pact with the people, as outlined in the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.

The president called upon Nigerians to recommit themselves to strengthening the government of free individuals, which has served as the nation’s guiding force for the past 24 years. Alongside these sentiments, President Tinubu made several other noteworthy remarks during the commemoration of the 2023 Democracy Day. Here are eleven significant statements delivered by the president.

1. Democracy Well and Alive

The president expressed the view that Nigeria successfully conducted its seventh cycle of elections, which have become significant traditions in the country’s democratic practice since 1999. He affirmed that the nation’s democracy remains strong and thriving.

The fact that the elections were fiercely contested serves as positive proof that democracy is flourishing in our country. It is only natural that those who emerged as winners in the various elections are delighted and satisfied, while those who were unsuccessful feel disheartened and disappointed.

However, the essence of democracy lies in the fact that today’s winners may become tomorrow’s losers, and today’s losers will have the opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.

2.Always cherish and appreciate the value of democracy.

The president emphasized the importance of not taking democracy in Nigeria for granted.

We should always be vigilant and protect it with great care, recognizing its immense value. It is only when people lose democracy that they truly realize and appreciate the freedoms and rights it guarantees.

We have previously endured the oppressive path of dictatorship, and those who lived through it can attest to the stark contrast between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation and degradation of tyranny. While heated debates, ongoing disputes, and intense electoral contests may be seen by some as unfavorable aspects of democracy, they also serve as evidence of its worth and significance.

3. There will be zero tolerance for any unlawful directives that undermine democracy.

When discussing the election that brought him to power, the president emphasized the importance of displaying sportsmanship among all those vying for elective positions. He stated that regardless of winning or losing, candidates should maintain a positive and respectful attitude.

According to the president:

Individuals who cannot gracefully accept defeat in elections do not deserve the elation of victory when their turn comes. Furthermore, those who have concerns regarding the election results can utilize the constitutional provisions to seek legal recourse, which highlights why democracy remains the most commendable form of governance devised by humanity.

Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, embodies the eternal nature of democracy.

Democracy revolves around the rule of law and a robust judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and fortify institutions. It is essential to emphasize that any unauthorized orders aimed at undermining or curtailing democracy will no longer be tolerated.

4. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to truth, equity, and justice.

Tinubu and his administration reasserted their dedication to fulfilling every aspect of their electoral promises to the people, encapsulated in the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.

They vowed to uphold truth, equity, and justice, and to exercise their authority and mandate with fairness, adherence to the rule of law, and a steadfast commitment to the dignity of all citizens.

The president extended his wishes for a joyous celebration of Democracy Day to all Nigerians, expressing his prayer that the flame of liberty will continue to burn brightly in the nation.

5. Renew your dedication

President Tinubu emphasized that the democracy MKO Abiola sacrificed his life for prioritizes the well-being of the people over the personal interests of the ruling class. It is a system where citizens can achieve personal fulfillment and happiness.

He noted that this vision, ignited by MKO Abiola in 1993, should be upheld by all Nigerians.

On this year’s Democracy Day, he urged everyone to renew their commitment to strengthening this form of government that has guided us for the past 24 years as a nation of free individuals.

In particular, those of us who have been fortunate to be elected into public offices at various levels, whether in the executive or legislative branches, should reassert our dedication to serving the people selflessly. We must strive to deliver tangible benefits of democracy in alignment with the promises we made during our election campaigns.

6. The process of reform has only just commenced.

President Tinubu’s recent action of harmonizing the retirement age for judicial officers is aimed at reinforcing the rule of law, a fundamental pillar of democracy. He emphasizes that this reform is just the beginning and highlights the importance of democracy going beyond mere freedom of choice and the election of officials. It encompasses social and economic justice for the people, as democracy presents the greatest opportunity to combat and eradicate poverty. Three decades ago, President Tinubu named his campaign manifesto “Farewell to Poverty” because he firmly believed that poverty is not inherent but a problem created by humans, and can be eliminated through well-planned social and economic policies.

7. I acknowledge that the removal of subsidy will place an additional burden.

In his inauguration address on May 29, the president emphasized the need to liberate the nation from the grip of poverty. To achieve this, he took action to implement the previous administration’s decision to eliminate the burden of fuel subsidies, thereby freeing up valuable resources that were previously benefiting only a privileged few.

The president acknowledges that this decision will impose an additional burden on the masses of the population, and he empathizes with their pain. However, he emphasizes that this sacrifice is necessary to rescue the country from a potential downfall and to reclaim its resources from the control of a small group of unpatriotic individuals.

Regrettably, the president has had to ask his fellow countrymen and women to endure further sacrifices for the sake of their nation’s survival. Nevertheless, he assures them that their sacrifices will not be in vain. The government he leads is committed to repaying the people’s trust and belief by making significant investments in transportation infrastructure, education, reliable power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will greatly enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

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