The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has warned that the conduct of the forthcoming 2019 general elections must not be less credible than the one conducted in 2015.
He warned Nigerians against taking the nation’s democracy for granted.
He said 19 years of uninterrupted democracy was not a mean achievement.
Saraki acknowledged those who had made sacrifices to sustain democracy, urging the current political actors to work hard to leave good legacies for those coming behind.
“We should not take our democracy for granted. We must work hard. It is indeed fragile. There is bound to be disagreements and conflicts among arms of government but we must be committed to finding solutions.
“It is only in doing so that we can move Nigeria forward. It should be Nigeria first in all our dealings,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on his part described the nation’s democracy as very fragile.
He said Nigerians should be vigilant to ensure that democracy survives.
He said irrespective of the position some people might be taking, there were reasons for every Nigerian to celebrate this democracy.
“We have to be very vigilant to ensure that our democracy survives. The beauty of democracy is forbearance. A united Nigeria will be a peaceful Nigeria. I call on all Nigerians to unite for the common good. I believe there is nothing that is impossible in a united Nigeria,” he said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in his welcome remarks, described democracy as a globally cherished and accepted practice for electing leaders, protecting inalienable rights, preventing arbitrariness in governance, distributing wealth and public goods, enthroning good governance and bringing development to the people.
“In Nigeria, we have for almost two decades, experienced four consecutive and successful transitions of power from one democratic dispensation to another.
“Most notable is the fact that we recently witnessed a transition from an incumbent to opposition. That singular feat gives assurance that our democracy has taken root, the Nigerian people can now freely decide who their leaders would be and their votes now count,” he said.