Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 Presidential Election, has expressed his concern over the state of Nigeria’s democracy, stating that it is currently under the control of the governing elites who manipulate election results contrary to the wishes of the citizens.
Atiku, who said this in a statement on Monday as Nigerians mark the 2023 Democracy Day on Monday, June 12, noted that the country needs the energy of all Nigerians to rescue it.
The former Vice President said that the occasion of Democracy Day was a time for Nigerians to reflect on Nigeria’s journey to becoming a true democratic society.
He said, “Democracy without a corresponding commitment to the principles of fairness and fidelity to the rule of play by stakeholders in the processes of conducting elections still leaves the people prostrate to tendencies of dictatorship.
“For our democracy to be fully fledged, it must constantly evolve away from the current practice where the governing elite determines the outcome of elections,” adding that a lot of work still lies ahead in the evolution of Nigeria’s democracy.
According to him, “Democracy and the process of democratization is a constant work in progress. While what we celebrate today is a return to civil rule in Nigeria, the desire to make our democracy self-sustaining and independent of anti-democratic elements is the new frontier of participation by all democrats.
“The challenge ahead of us and the future of our democracy will rely heavily on what we do or fail to do today.
“As I congratulate Nigerians on this day, in celebration of the return to civil rule, I also call our consciousness to the reality that democracy in Nigeria remains in bondage and it will need the energy of all of us to rescue it.”