The Presidency has responded to the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, which recently said that there is no Democracy in the country.
The CNG had in its statement on June 12 said that Nigeria, particularly the north, in the last five years has had the worst set of incompetent, ineffective, unfocused and generally unwilling leaders manning all the arms and levels of governance.
The Presidency, however, said it amounts to a grave mistake, for the Coalition to dissociate themselves from Democracy Day and, in effect de-cognizing democracy as a chosen system of government in the country.
In an article forwarded by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has always maintained that the future belongs to the youth.
He said that President Buhari has always said that the current administration was fixing the ailing country to hand it over to the youths.
“Nigeria recognises Democracy Day because, for many decades since independence, the fight for the right of Nigerians to choose a government of their own was not complete. A prominent citizen of the country, Chief MKO Abiola died trying to do just this,” Shehu maintained.
“When independence was won, and then swiftly replaced by an unelected government, it was not much of a change.”
The Presidential aide further explained that for the challenges Nigeria faces today, lack of universal suffrage or lack of elected politicians is not one of them.
He said that the people are facing severe hardships because of the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges posed by the terrorists Boko Haram.
“Yet when groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) put out statements claiming that Democracy Day holds no purpose and the government somehow wishes for the northern states to be struggling it is embarrassing not for the government but for the group, its members and their sponsors.
For a start, if the group dared to issue such a comment under a non-democratic method they would have met a swift and harsh retribution from a dictatorial government.
”They should thank their stars that we are operating a truly democratic government where the rights of free speech are guaranteed and protected”.
“This government has done more than any other – elected or not elected – to curtail and beat back the terrorists,” Shehu explained.
He added that “no government has done more to foster democracy and freedom of speech in Nigeria than the current administration.
“The fact that CNG is freely able to transmit garbage to the media in the hope they will be widely reported is a testament to the freedom of expression and media liberty that exists in our country today.
“Equally, the fact that the government is issuing this statement, in response to the puerile message is a testament that today Nigeria is a country where disagreements can be aired publicly through the press, not through less gentlemanly methods used in the past.
“We hope that CNG will consider the facts and reconsider the unhelpful and inaccurate message their statements contain when issuing them in the future.”
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