The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, has thanked God for sustaining democracy for 20 years in Nigeria.
Obi spoke on Tuesday in Owerri during the Inaugural Lecture in honour of the incoming Governor of Imo State, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, at the Ahajioku Convention Centre, Owerri, where he was the Special Guest of honour.
Obi, who advised Ihedioha on the need to cut the cost of governance and concentrate on the advancement of education and other infrastructure, said the fact that democracy had stayed uninterrupted in spite many lapses was a proof that it had come to stay.
While thanking all those who were part of the growth of democracy in the country, he reminded Nigerian leaders that democracy is more than just a name.
“The beauty of democracy is not in the name, but in what our people now commonly call ‘democracy dividend’, which we are yet to experience fully in Nigeria,” he said.
The former Anambra State Governor pointed at the inability to achieve free and fair election and enthronement of the rule of law as Nigeria’s greatest failing.
Obi further noted that if after 20 years of uninterrupted democracy, Nigeria is yet to experience 24 hours supply of electricity, functional health care system, good road and other infrastructure, security, employment for its teeming youths, there is then actually nothing to celebrate.
Obi called on leaders to see 20 years of democracy as an opportunity to reflect on the state of the nation and resolve to be part of the efforts towards building a country all Nigerians shall be proud of.