The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), said his decision to change the nation’s Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12 was not about the sacrifices of those who fought to enthrone democracy alone.
Buhari stated this early Saturday in his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians to mark the 2021 Democracy Day.
He said apart from honouring the sacrifices of Nigerians who fought for the return to democracy, the change in date was also to demonstrate the regime’s commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.
He said he remained committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system.
He however said Nigerians too must be ready to play their part by getting involved at any level they can by supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from their elected leaders.
He added, “My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.
“In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.
“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.
“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.
“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.
“As a nation, we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.
“Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger. The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.
“As your President, I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.”