CDD urges Nigerians not to lose faith in democracy
Rights group, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has commended Nigerians for their resilience and perseverance towards sustaining democracy amid myriad of challenges.
It also called for robust citizens’ participation to deepen accountability and ensure democracy works for all. This was disclosed in a statement signed by CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, to commemorate International Democracy Day, held September 15.
Alluding to this year’s theme, ‘Strengthening democratic resilience in the face of future crises’, Hassan expressed optimism that despite the challenges confronting Nigeria’s democratic process, the country would emerge victorious.
On how to address the challenges undermining democracy, human rights and the rule of law, Hassan called for the need to build strong and resilient institutions, respect fundamental rights of citizens, and protect freedom of expression and the press.
She said, as obtainable globally, strong institutions would emerge if a public value system is driven by credible leadership, integrity, freedom, accountability and social justice.
She identified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as some of the critical public institutions that have the potential to drive good governance in the country, if they are strengthened.
“Take a look at INEC, for example. It desires the adoption of technology to conduct improved elections in the country. That is a pointer to the willingness of some of these institutions to ensure there are reforms. The legislature and executive should support this aspiration to come to fruition,” she said.
On attacks on civil liberties, Hassan called on the government to note that freedom of the press and citizens’ rights to express themselves are significant pillars of democracy. She added that the government’s ban on the use of Twitter exposes a move towards authoritarianism.