A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has called on Nigerians to focus on building the nation with the bricks of equity, fairness, and justice.
In his Democracy Day message on Sunday, he explained that such qualities were important to help the nation withstand challenges as they may come.
Lawan stated that it would be the fourth time Nigeria would celebrate the day on June 12 since President Muhammadu Buhari made the change from May 29.
He believes June 12 is more than just a date for the Nigerian people as it represents a milestone in the journey to entrench a democratic polity.
On that day in 1993, the lawmaker said Nigerians rose above primordial sentiments and proclaimed the oneness of their nation, as well as their preference for a democratic system that offered them good governance, freedom, and life more abundant.
He described democracy as a process that required popular participation, tolerance of the views and rights of others, and the spirit of sportsmanship for its sustenance.
According to the Senate President, the National Assembly will always be alive to its duties, as it did in the process that led to the birth of a new Electoral Act.
He revealed that the legislation was passed based on conviction and in appreciation of the need to strengthen the nation’s democratic processes and values to allow for more transparency and to engender the confidence of the people.
Read the full text of Lawan’s Democracy Day message below:
I heartily felicitate fellow Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s Democracy Day.
This is the fourth time that we are celebrating the Day on June 12 since President Muhammadu Buhari made the change from May 29.
For the Nigerian people, June 12 is more than just a date.
It represents a milestone in our journey to entrench a democratic polity, as on that day 29 years ago, Nigerians rose above primordial sentiments and proclaimed the oneness of their nation and the unity of its people.
That day too, they proclaimed their preference for a democratic system that offers them good governance, freedom, and life more abundant.
The statement of that day propelled us into the longest period of democracy in our nation’s history.
However, as we all know, democracy is a process that requires popular participation, tolerance of the views and rights of others and the spirit of sportsmanship for its sustenance.
As we march on in our democratic journey, we should always remember the tenets and rules of the game, respect the rights of others, and faithfully discharge our civic responsibilities as important stakeholders in a nation building project.
In our efforts to build a better nation, let’s be confident in our ability to turn things around for the good of all of us.
Our goal should be to build our nation with the bricks of equity, fairness, and justice, so that it can withstand challenges as they may come.
The National Assembly will always be alive to its duties, as it did in the recent passage of the Electoral Reform Bill, now referred to as Electoral Act 2022, for which Parliament has received commendations from the great Nigerian public.
We passed the bill based on conviction and in appreciation of the need to strengthen our democratic processes and values, to make the processes more transparent and to engender the confidence of the people that we represent in the democratic process.
We believe that once we build the necessary safeguards and strengthen the confidence of Nigerians in the process, the outcomes will always represent their wishes.
As we approach another cycle of general elections next year, I enjoin us all to work for and be optimistic for the success of the elections.
Once again, I wish all Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.
Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan PhD, CON,
President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Sunday, 12th June 2022.