Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has said the last general election where the incumbent Presiden, Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was defeated by opposition candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was a significant landmark in the country’s democratic experiment.
Ndoma-Egba, representing Cross River Central Senatorial District in the outgoing National Assembly, made the remark in an interview in Abuja.
According to the three-term senator, the incoming government of Buhari must put in its best to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people who effected the change as seen in the just concluded elections.
“I think it is the major milestone of our democracy because our current democracy is the longest in our post-colonial history. It has been the longest unbroken episode of our democracy. And I believe that with the last election our democracy has come to stay because we have moved from one President getting a second term to one President handing over to another President but within the same political party, and then from a Vice President assuming the functions of the President while the President was incapacitated. And from that acting President becoming President; and now a President from one party handing over to an incoming President from another party.
“This actually is the defining moment of our democracy. It means that our democracy has survived every stress point and is now on the roll. But that doesn’t mean we should take things for granted because democracy is a culture. It is a state of mind. It is an endless journey. There is no destination that you call the democratic destination. It is a continuous journey. But the yardsticks have been defined now. And so, we expect to see minimum level of political behaviours in subsequent elections.”
On whether the poor performance of the PDP in the last 16 years necessitated the demand for change by the people, he said: “The electorate is entitled to demand a change for whatever reason. It could be for want of meeting their expectations. It could be for no reason at all other than we just want a change. The important thing is the will of people that we listen when they speak.
“So, if they have spoken, so be it, for whatever reason. But again, like I said it is good for our democracy, because if it is for want of meeting their expectations, then, it puts the incoming government on notice; that the day you will fall short of meeting the people’s expectations; they also reserve the same right that they have exercised in bringing you in to send you out.”