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CAPPA advocates strengthening of Nigeria’s democracy

.Warns against govt’s planned clampdown on rallies

‘Nigeria’s democracy must strive to reflect the pursuit of fairness, inclusivity, and happiness for all’

By Valentine Amanze

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called for a rethinking and strengthening of Nigeria’s democracy to achieve sustainable national development.

CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, who made the appeal, while commemorating June 12 Democracy Day, lamented that despite 25 years of unbroken democracy in Nigeria, the persistent disregard for democratic principles has continued to limit citizens’ participation in decision-making processes and stifle meaningful progress.

His words:  “The diversity of opinions and active participation of citizens in political processes enrich democracy and promote nation-building.

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“Yet the suppression of press freedoms, arbitrary arrests and detention of journalists, and vocal citizens and critics have become increasingly reoccurring instances in the country and disappointing indices that undermine the people’s power to have an equal voice in their government.

“Indeed, we have come a long way as a people on a journey, and this day, as always, holds major significance in our history. It is a timely reminder of the resilience and bravery we embody even in the face of challenges that threaten to swallow us.

“And it is for this reason that we must continue to uphold the sanctity of our nationhood and jealously defend it from the perils that threaten its wholesomeness.”

Oluwafemi also

admonished Nigeria’s leaders, stressing, “Nigeria’s democracy must strive to reflect the pursuit of fairness, inclusivity, and happiness for all.”

He said that for it to happen, Nigerians must embark on an honest evaluation of where they are at now and their efforts to embrace true democracy.

He also warned the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) against clampdown on Nigerians engaged in a peaceful rally to commemorate democracy day.

The non-governmental organisation’s statement, issued early Wednesday, followed a series of statements by the DSS and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) threatening to prevent protests by well-meaning Nigerians, labour unions, and a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs).

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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