Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has called on Nigerians to be eternally vigilant to protect the country’s democracy.
The speaker, who made the call on Monday at the 2018 Democracy Day Lecture in Abuja, said in spite of 19 years of civil rule, Nigeria’s democracy was still fragile.
He, however, urged those in position of power not to truncate it.
He cautioned that all over the world, democracies nowadays hardly die in the hands of people with guns but in the hands of civilian leaders who have dubious allegiance to democratic norms and values.
He noted that elections have sometimes produced enemies of democracy and urged the citizens to be eternally vigilant in order to protect and defend the hard-earned democracy.
Dogara argued that there was every reason for Nigerians to celebrate almost two decades of civilian rule because the beauty of democracy was that it gave hope for a better future to the people.
He added that history showed that the rich and powerful have always interchanged places with the poor and the vulnerable.
He further stated that it was consensus and compromise that drove the wheels of democracy and urged those who hold power at different levels to resist the temptation of sliding into dictatorship.
According to him, tyrants and dictators have always ended up miserably such as the case with likes of Mussolini, Hitler, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and others.
He said it would ‘’be wrong for us to think that we can do what they did; and not see what they saw”.
“As a matter of fact, the beauty of democracy is in forbearance.
He added: “Those of us who are true democrats here will exhibit light in the way and manner in which we carry out institutional prerogatives with forbearance and with grace. Those are true democrats.”