This is why the return to civil rule in the country after many decades of military regime was received by Nigerians with great joy. May 29 1999 is marked the return of democracy in the country.
Unlike in other forms of government, people are at ease in democracy to air their views, pursue their rights and enjoy welfare from the government.
But how far has the country fared in its 19 years of uninterrupted democracy?
Radio Nigeria in this report chronicles that the return of democratic rule.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo took over office from the then Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, as the president of Nigeria on May 29, 1999, ending decades of intermittent Military regime.
2018 celebration marks 19 years of uninterrupted civil rule and 3rd year in office of the present administration with President Muhammadu Buhari at the helm of affairs at the Federal level.
Many Nigerians have described the development as a great feat, being the longest period of democratic rule since the nation’s independence.
Some residents of Enugu Metropolis described democracy as the best gift to the nation, though with mixed feelings.
Commending the journey so far, a Political Scientist, Dr. Ifeanyi Odoziobodo, said the fact that the nation had sustained its democracy for 19 years and remained an indivisible entity showed that the system of government was making tremendous progress in the country.
Applauding the success made in the election process, especially the recent governorship election in Anambra State, an Enugu based lawyer, Mr. Basil Obijuru, noted that the present Federal Government had made landmark achievements with the fight against corruption and insurgency.
While blaming successive governments for poor state if infrastructure and other essential services, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) Enugu State, Comrade Chukwuma Igbokwe noted that corruption had remained the greatest threat to the nation’s overall growth.
A Politician, Prince Lawrence Eze said the nation was yet to entrench true democracy.
The Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial Zone, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, believed that a transparent electoral process was a pre-requisite for the sustenance of democracy.
The respondents urged the electorate to hold their leaders accountable and participate effectively in the political process to enthrone credible leaders.
Meanwhile, Nigerians are advised to take advantage of the Democracy Day celebration to unite in building a virile nation.
Speaking in Enugu on this year’s celebration, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Reverend Callistus Onaga laid emphasis on improvement on the security of lives and property in the country.
He maintained that welfare of the citizens should always top the agenda of the government.
Bishop Onaga also advocated improvement on various sectors to enhance economic advancement, urging the leaders to remain focused and be committed to the growth of the nation.
Also in an interview, religious and traditional leaders in Enugu State emphasized the need for politicians to see politics as a call to selfless service to build a better Nigeria.
NNEKA UGWUANYI AND ALFRED AJAYI