As Nigeria marks its 58th Independence anniversary, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has urged Nigerians not to lose hope and faith in the progress of the country.
Dogara, in a message on Sunday in Abuja to commemorate the anniversary, expressed optimism that Nigerians would soon begin to experience the true benefits of democracy.
He noted that due to the failure of governments over the years to provide good governance that would translate to wealth and prosperity for the citizens, many had lost hope.
According to him, many citizens now wonder if they can continue to depend on government for their happiness and lifetime goals.
He said through the effective functioning of the three tiers of government, a Nigeria that would see all citizens as equal and ensure that the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would emerge.
The speaker added that all these could only be achieved through monitoring of elected leaders to ensure that the true tenets of democracy would be preserved and practised.
Dogara Said: “For some of our citizens who wonder whether they are in the position to invest their liberty in the pursuit of happiness, I want to say they shouldn’t despair, as there is hope for the living.
“That fully in the course of history, the rich and powerful have always interchanged places with the poor and vulnerable.
So there is hope, and every reason for all Nigerians to celebrate this democracy.
“As a matter of fact, in order for us to secure these rights, the framers of our constitution allocated governmental powers among three equal branches of government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
“The three greatly working together makes it extremely necessary for compromise and consensus in governance.
“Whenever you see a democracy that is working; check it very well, it is consensus and compromise that drives it.
Of course this democracy that we all cherish is very fragile, and as such we can’t take it for granted.”
The speaker also called for more active participation of citizens in governance.
He noted that any generation that relaxed on vigilance would awaken to the rude shock that the courts and other democratic institutions had become weapons against them.
“That must not be the case with our own democracy, and for us to ensure that our democracy survives, we have to be eternally vigilant,” he stressed.
Dogara charged all Nigerians, “be it in the south, west, north and east, across all divides to unite for the common good for the pursuit of our future and the advancement of our people.”
The speaker said nothing was impossible in a united, peaceful and democratic Nigeria.