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Nigeria’s democracy at 20: Fair approach to governance sure guarantee for stability – Gov. Tambuwal

Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State

Abuja, Dec. 7, 2019

The Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Aminu Tambuwal, says building national unity, inclusive and fair approach to governance is a sure guarantee for democratic stability in Nigeria.

Tambuwal stated this in his address at an international conference on ‘20 Years of Democracy in Nigeria: 1999-2019’ at Oxford University, United Kingdom.

The governor said that Nigeria’s fault lines and cleavages would be better managed where there was a sense of belonging by all groups within the nation.

“To do so, we need to learn from our past, be bold enough to see and accept where we have gotten it wrong.

“We must understand the need to pull together our best minds in a bid to build lasting, fair, functional, truly representative and flexible institutions that work for all Nigerians,” he said.

Tambuwal also stressed the need for Nigeria to build strong institutions rather than individuals.

“Institutions, not individuals protect collective interest and grow the Commonwealth in a fair, legal and lasting way.

“The lack of institutions that one can truly trust and full depend on perhaps is the biggest flaw of our 20 years of democracy,” he said.

To consolidate on the country’s democracy, Tambuwal said that a new Electoral Act which entrenches a foolproof electronic voting system and reduces the interference of security agencies in elections was urgent.

He also called for reform of the judiciary that would enhance the independence of the arm of government, insisting that this was key to the success of Nigeria’s democracy.

“Thirdly, the appointment of heads of security agencies, especially the police should be made subject to legislative approval.

“The zero sum nature of Nigeria’s politics needs to be revisited in such a way that the ‘winner takes all’ system is changed for a more inclusive system to eliminate extreme desperation to win elections,” he said.

Tambuwal said that looking back over the past two decades, Nigeria’s democracy was yet to reach its potential.

He advised elected leaders to act for the benefit of all, not only by listening but also demonstrating that they were listening.

He stressed that as Nigeria is reflecting on its 20 years of democracy, “leaders must refocus their attention to the electorate.”

The governor noted further the need to make as priority, the education and health sectors of the country in the development of her democracy.

He said that Nigeria needed leaders who understood that the greatest assets were children and the best way to nurture them was by giving them quality education.

He said: “I believe that the burden of leadership must be shared among those who understand that every ward in Nigeria should have a full-fledged functional secondary school.

He insisted that the country needed to build health institutions and facilities that are near the people, affordable as well as capable of preventing and curing sicknesses.

To win the war against insecurity, Tambuwal stressed the need to focus on prevention through education, intelligence gathering as well as building a superior security force that could intercept, foil plans and actions aimed at bringing harm to citizens.

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