Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s candidate in the February 25 presidential election, has expressed concerns about the state of Nigeria’s democracy, describing it as being “deeply troubled.” In a statement commemorating June 12, Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, highlighted the country’s struggle with fundamental issues and called for the restoration of democratic principles.
Obi emphasized that Nigeria is currently facing challenges where the foundational pillars of democracy are being eroded by impunity, widespread violence, and bloodshed. Despite these challenges, he reaffirmed his dedication to building a New Nigeria.
The statement acknowledged the historical significance of June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria. It recalled the 1993 elections held under military rule, in which Nigerians displayed their unwavering commitment to true democracy by participating in a transparent voting process that transcended divisions of ethnicity, religion, and region. The selection of late Chief M. K.O Abiola as the nation’s leader was celebrated by Nigerians and recognized worldwide.
However, Obi expressed his concerns about the current state of politics in Nigeria, describing democracy as being in a deeply troubled state. The country continues to grapple with numerous fundamental problems, including the need for a credible electoral system that earns the trust and confidence of all Nigerians, similar to the trust placed in the June 12 elections.
Obi called for a return to the true values of a democratic nation and emphasized the importance of establishing an electoral system that garners the trust of the people. This, he stated, aligns with the principles and core values of democracy, which hinge upon respecting the people’s choices as expressed through their votes. Furthermore, he emphasized the government’s responsibility to uphold the institutions of the democratic state, fulfill the needs of the people, and abide by the rule of law.
Unfortunately, Obi lamented the prevailing impunity, widespread violence, and loss of life that undermine the foundations of democracy. The growing trust deficit between leaders and the Nigerian population is a cause for concern, as evidenced by the lack of trust and efficiency displayed in recent elections.
In light of the challenges faced, Obi urged Nigerians to maintain faith in the inherent capacity of the democratic system to rectify its flaws. He emphasized his unwavering commitment to the possibility of a New Nigeria, a nation characterized by equity, justice, security, and peace. Obi believes that Nigeria possesses abundant human and natural resources, but what it truly lacks are selfless leaders dedicated to the national interest, sustainable development, and innovative thinking that empowers every Nigerian, regardless of their background, with the freedom of choice, protection of life and property, and preservation of civil liberties.
In conclusion, Obi reassured Nigerians that he and the Labour Party remain committed to championing the cause of leadership that prioritizes their welfare. On behalf of the party and the Obidient Movement worldwide, he extended his best wishes to all Nigerians on this Democracy Day.