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Strengthen public institutions, Bello advises President

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Nigerians have been urged to consistently resist any form of dictatorship as part of the lessons learnt from the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election and the struggles that followed.

This is as the Federal Government has been called upon to strengthen all public institutions as a way to strengthen the nation’s democracy.

Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, who served as special assistant to the late Chief MKO Abiola, made the call yesterday in his Democracy Day message to Nigerians.

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Bello, who was part of those that fought for the revalidation of the June 12 electoral mandate, urged civil society organisations to be on the alert to mobilise Nigerians whenever the need arises.

He called on Nigerians to be active not only during elections but also after elections as well as to hold their leaders accountable.

His words: “The lesson of June 12 is that we must never permit dictatorship again. We must not tolerate neither military nor civilian dictatorship again because we paid a great price for it. The mandate of people must be recognised; people must have their say at every time. This is not negotiable.

“All of us must be proactive. All the civic right organisations, all the human right groups and all the non-governmental organisations must be alert and active; they must mobilise the civil populace. Civil populace must remain active.

“Democracy is not sustained by just keeping quiet and not responding at all or by just allowing elected politicians to dictate terms. We must make elected politicians listen to us the masses. The civil society must be actively developed; they must be encouraged and fully mobilised. They must be on guard to avoid and prevent all forms of illegal act.”

Bello said the best way to strengthen the nation’s institutions was to develop the minds of the people as well as mobilise them to be actively involved in governance.

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