President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday that he is happy that democracy is thriving in the country.
The President said this in Abuja at the opening of an induction programme for Governors, held at the Conference Center of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President, who was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, called on the newly elected leaders to fulfill the promises they made to Nigerians.
“In February and March 2023, Nigeria consolidated and re-enforced its democratic process with the general election, which saw the election of a new President and about 18 newly elected Governors. I am happy to note that democracy is alive, vibrant and thriving in Nigeria. With the elections now over, it is time for all of us to deliver the promises we made during the campaigns,” he said.
The President cautioned politicians to brace up and work for the people as they take their oath of office on May 29 because citizens have now realized that the power lies with them.
He said the outcome of the 2023 general election has shown that if a leader doesn’t perform, the people will vote him out.
“I’ve always maintained that democracy is not an event nor an end State but a revolutionary process that takes its participants on a journey of self-actualization. The process forces us to hold a mirror to ourselves and by doing so, we are made to constantly review and improve its critical elements.
“On May 29 this year, you will be called upon to steer the affairs of your States for the next four years at least, for those who are being elected for the first time. On that day you will become wholly responsible for the State as an enterprise.
“You as Governors and State executives, inherit all its assets as well as the liabilities. One significant development that we all saw from the last election is that the electorate is maturing and the people are increasingly finding their voices.
“Any public officer who fails to either meet up with the expectations of the people or deliver on his campaign promises will be voted out in the next election. That is what democracy is about. deliver or you are shown the way out,” he said.
The President enjoined the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to promote ideals that will address the challenges of democracy and governance in Nigeria.
He said the role of the subnational is critical in the socio economic development of the nation therefore, all States of the federation must form partnerships in order to tap the comparative advantages of one another.
Also speaking, the Chairman of l Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the induction was organized to further equip incoming Governors for their assumption of office on May 29.
He advised them to address challenges of unemployment as well as provide dividends of democracy to their people.
“The Governors’ Forum has organized this event to support the new Governors in developing the essential skills for democratic governance for the implementation of pre- elections blueprints. To kick start this post-election democratic process, we have Invited governance experts, bureaucrats, and entrepreneurs within and outside the shores of this country, to share their expertise on democratic governance in a diverse political economy with unique peculiarities in the modern governance framework. I am pleased to acknowledge in our midst the presence of democratic leaders from Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America who have obliged to share their vast experience with us.
“Distinguished Colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen, as some of us are excited as helmsman of our respective states, the new and incoming governors are reminded of the task ahead. We have made giant strides in our various states within limited resources at our disposal in the areas of infrastructural development and provision of social services. We faced the most difficulty times in economic management of our states during the COVID 19 pandemic. We exited recessions and the economy is now on the pathway for sustainable growth.
“Unemployment, poverty, and insecurity are difficult tasks incoming administrations are expected to face in their respective states. Building strong and viable institutions in the polity will help in tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, and ensuring the provision of security of lives and property. This is a worthy legacy to be bequeathed to our children and generations to come,” he said.
Other speakers at the event were the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nation, Amina Mohammed, and the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal, who both tasked governors to be dedicated in the discharge of their duties, in order to make live better for the people they govern.
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