The Anambra Government wants residents of the state to use Democracy Day to reflect on the state of the nation, rather than engaging in lavish celebrations.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C-Don Adinuba, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Awka.
Analysts have criticized some state governments for marking the Democracy Day with lavish celebrations at a time millions of their citizens go to bed hungry from day to day.
Adinuba said that instead of the usual merry-making, dining and wining that had characterised the event in the past, the Anambra Government wanted its citizens to have a sober reflection on the journey so far.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation returned to popular democracy 19 years ago after a brutal military era that was characterized by looting.
Adinuba said that Anambra had just hosted the second term inauguration of Gov. Willie Obiano on March 17, and had also hosted the Ohaneze Summit on May 21.
“So we reasoned that it is not good enough for the state to get involved in another round of celebrations today. It is not worth it.’’
He said, however, that the state had recorded achievements in security, social harmony and promptness in the payment of workers’ salaries.
“Anambra State Government is the only state that has reviewed salaries of workers upwards and pays salaries of workers on 25th of every month in addition to other welfare plans for workers.
“As we talk, government has started handing over brand new cars to all directors, based on seniority and we challenge other states to emulate Anambra State in terms of workers’ welfare and promotion of peace and security.’’
Adinuba said that the State Government was waiting eagerly for the announcement of a new minimum wage for workers by the Federal Government in August, saying: “we will be the first to implement the new minimum wage’’.
The spokesman also told residents of the state to disregard the planned sit-at-home order by the pro-Biafra group, IPOB, describing the group’s directive as an illegality.
Commenting on the decision of the Anambra Government not to celebrate, a resident of Awka, Mr Chidi Agim, said that he was surprised that the State Government could not observe the Democracy Day because of the significance of the day to Nigerians.
Agim argued that even if the government did not want to mark the event with ceremony, the governor should have addressed the people to enlighten them on what they should do in the face of mounting challenges confronting the nation.