Journalism in the service of society

June 12: Respect and protect democracy- Peter Obi

THE Labour Party’s presidential candidate for 2023, Peter Obi, has urged the public and political leaders to preserve and protect democratic institutions by adhering to state laws and being accountable to the people.

Obi in a series of tweets on X yesterday, stated that democracy goes beyond elections and involves executing the responsibilities of responsible governance outlined in the constitution.

His comments follow Nigeria’s 2024 observance of Democracy Day on June 12.

He noted that it is possible to build a true society in which democracy may survive.

“As our dear nation marks Democracy Day today, commemorating 25 years of striving to be a democratic country, the fundamental question for all of us remains: Are we truly democratic?

“As we build a New Nigeria, these tenets shall be the pillars of our true democracy. It is possible,” he added.

The former presidential candidate also lamented some of the ratings, which he said were indications that the nation is not truly democratic.

He added, “To further illustrate that we are not truly democratic and have only produced the vices enumerated above, we are now ranked as follows:

“In the measurement of democracy, we have a democracy index score of 4.23, which ranks us low on the Global Democracy Index. In the Corruption Perception Index, we are ranked 145th among the 180 countries measured, showing a high level of corruption in Nigeria. In the Rule of Law Measurement, we are ranked 120th out of 142 countries measured in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, indicating that Nigeria suffers from gross disobedience to the rule of law.

“The 2024 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Nigeria as one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.

“Nigeria ranks 112th out of 180 countries where journalists are regularly monitored, attacked, and arbitrarily arrested. We are ranked 109th out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index,” he said.

Obi urged political leaders to return to true democracy.

“Let us, therefore, use the commemoration of June 12 as an occasion to return to a truly democratic nation. We achieved that feat on June 12, 1993, by collectively voting for democracy in Nigeria. We must stand in defence of Nigeria’s democracy today,” he added.

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