Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), a prominent youth-led organization advocating for good governance, joyously commemorates this historic day alongside Nigerians. June 12, 1993, marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and democratic journey. The struggle of Nigerians to liberate themselves from the clutches of military dictatorship and restore power to the people was tragically undermined by the annulment of the election that should have resulted in Chief M.K.O Abiola becoming President of Nigeria. Three decades later, Nigeria has experienced its longest period under a democratic system, lasting 24 years.
The country’s democracy embodies the hopes and aspirations of its citizens, who persistently demand equitable distribution of the dividends of democracy. However, the consensus today is that Nigeria has yet to lay a sustainable foundation for democracy that can contribute to building a better country.
On May 29th, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in as the 5th elected president since the fourth republic commenced. Unfortunately, the election that brought him to power was marred by various irregularities, including the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results electronically.
According to Abideen Olasupo, Global Director of BBYDI, “Ensuring the integrity of our elections is the first step toward establishing a solid foundation for Nigeria’s democracy. Substantial progress has been made in recent electoral cycles, particularly through integrating technology to enhance transparency and credibility.
However, as demonstrated by the last election, INEC’s inadequate management and deployment of its resources continue to deprive us of internationally accepted elections.”
Democracy has been a rollercoaster ride for Nigerians. Despite their unwavering commitment, it has yet to deliver the desired results. The past 24 years have been plagued by bad governance, corruption, poverty, and unemployment.
In his Democracy Day speech, President Bola Tinubu stated, “The democracy that will yield the right dividends to the people, who are the shareholders, means more than just the freedom of choice and the right to elect officials. It signifies social and economic justice for our people.” His words reflect the aspirations of Nigerians, and we can only demand that his administration fulfil its promises to the people.
As we celebrate this year’s Democracy Day, BBYDI seeks to remind Nigerians of the sacrifices made to achieve this crucial milestone. Therefore, it is imperative for citizens to hold the current government accountable for its promises and to remain actively involved in the affairs of the nation.
At BBYDI, our unwavering commitment to ensuring good governance remains resolute. We will continue to monitor the government’s activities and keep citizens well-informed.