Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has lamented that the political class has not done enough to make the ordinary Nigerians happy.
Speaking on the occasion of the democracy day, he further lamented that there have been several good leaders who have tried their best to make things work but have been victims of bad governance.
He then went on to laud some heroes of democracy who lost their lives in the hope of a Democratic government.
“The celebration of Democracy Day is an affirmation of our collective struggles towards a system of participatory government and acceptance of the primacy of the rule of law,” he said.
“Just like the late Bashorun MKO Abiola continues to be the symbol of the June 12 struggle, there are many others like the late Chief Alfred Rewane; my mentor, Tafida Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola and many more too numerous to mention who lost their lives in order for us to have a democracy.
“Yet there are so many other heroes who remain unsung. They are Nigerians who have fallen victims of bad governance.
“While we may have a day dedicated to celebrating democracy, it remains saddening that we have not delivered enough dividends to our people to be happy over.”
“It is clear that the problem of leadership is at the epicentre of governance issues that have afflicted Nigeria since the restoration of this democratic dispensation,” he said.
“To get at this problem would require the voting citizens of the country to undertake a more critical evaluation of national leadership recruitment – a rare gift which democracy guarantees through the instrumentality of periodic elections.
“It is when we do that, that democracy can pass as a self-correcting mechanism and when it is denied, we are left with a pseudo-democracy which is counterproductive to the notion of participatory democracy.
“As we celebrate today our 21st anniversary of unbroken democratic rule, it is necessary that we canonize the memories of our heroes of democracy by expanding the application of democracy as a mechanism of good governance by making sure that ballots cast during an election are sacrosanct in order for leaders who represent the true aspirations of the people to emerge.
“On the occasion of Democracy Day, being marked against the backdrop of the uncertainties of this season, may the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in the struggle to enthrone the democratic rule that we are enjoying today never be in vain.”