By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
As the nations marks 21 years of unbroken democratic experience, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has renewed calls for the amendment of electoral process so as to ensure that the vote of the people count.
Atiku pushed for the position in a democracy day message he sent to the media on Thursday
The Waziri Adamawa in the message recounted how the struggle to entrench democracy in the country has been threatened by unstable electoral climate and rigging.
He said, “As we celebrate today our 21st anniversary of unbroken democratic rule, it is necessary that we canonize the memories of our heroes of democracy by expanding the application of democracy as a mechanism of good governance by making sure that ballots cast during an election are sacrosanct in order for leaders who represent the true aspirations of the people to emerge.
“However, to ensure the integrity of the electoral process, that votes are not only counted, but that they do count, there is an urgent need to accelerate needed electoral reforms that will address the lapses in previous elections.
“On the occasion of Democracy Day, being marked against the backdrop of the uncertainties of this season, may the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in the struggle to enthrone the democratic rule that we are enjoying today never be in vain”.
He paid tribute to late Bashorun MKO Abiola who according to him, is the symbol of the June 12 struggle. He also recognized late Chief Alfred Rewane; Tafida Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola and many more who lost their lives in order for us to have a democracy.
He lamented that while the country have a date dedicated to celebrating democracy, it remains saddening that leaders have not delivered democratic dividend to the people
“It is clear that the problem of leadership is at the epicenter of governance issues that has afflicted Nigeria since the restoration of this democratic dispensation. To get at this problem would require the voting citizens of the country to undertake a more critical evaluation of national leadership recruitment – a rare gift which democracy guarantees through the instrumentality of periodic elections.
“It is when we do that, that democracy can pass as a self-correcting mechanism and when it is denied, we are left with a pseudo-democracy which is counterproductive to the notion of participatory democracy”.