Democracy Is A Journey, Not A Destination, Says Gov Akeredolu
**”Calls for Deep Reflection on our Democratic Journey.
***As Doyin Odebowale Calls for Devolution of Power.
Monday June 12, 2023
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON has declared that, “democracy as a process is a journey and not a destination: a system of government that is determined, inspired, nurtured and sustained by the decisions, desires, interests, welfare, aspirations and hope of the majority” .
The Governor made this remarks at this year celebration of June 12 at a lecture titled : “Democracy, Development and Stability in Nigeria” organized by the State Government and held at International Culture and Event Center, ( The Dome ), Alagbaka Akure on Monday.
The Governor whose speech was read by the State Deputy Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa declared that, “a government can only be for the people if their aspirations, hopes and welfare are met and taken care of” .
Governor Akeredolu emphasized that, “Democracy, Development and Political stability in Nigeria reflect what a country could be” .
“A country cannot be called ‘democratic’ without demonstrating developmental imperatives which engender political stability” , he said.
The Governor applauded the country’s uninterrupted 24 years of democratic rule, revealing that investments flourish in a stable and conducive environment, while political stability scares foreign and local investors.
He said it is the duty of all Nigerians to contribute their individual quota in the deepening of our democratic values.
Governor Akeredolu also disclosed the hope of the State in the new awakening with the approval of Ondo Deep Sea Port which will serve as a major landmark achievement of his administration.
He equally saluted the courage and dedication of men and women in the Sunshine State for their unflinching support during the various elections by rooting for the candidates of All Progressives Congress, APC, as a way of appreciating the good governance in the State.
He said as the country is marking this year Democracy Day, there was the need for deep reflection about the country’s democratic journey since 1999.
In his opening remarks, one of the advocate of June 12 and the Chairman of the event , Basorun Seinde Arogbofa OFR, said the election of June 12, 1993 was a watershed in Nigeria democratic journey as the election was adjudged to be the fairest and freest in the history of the country, as it was the Country’s bold attempt in resolving religion dicotomy and ethnic politics.
He said the symbol of that election, the Late MKO Abiola was a prepared President that never be.
Arogbofa also said there’s similarities between Abiola and Nigeria current President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President Tinubu is highly prepared for the job as he pleaded for the support of all Nigerians in this new beginning.
Earlier, the Guest Speaker who is also Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale who spoke on “Democracy, Development and Political Stability in Nigeria” talked on the ills of the Country as he brought out many salient issues bedeviled the Country.
“The disconnect between the people and those who claim to be their representatives has been deepened by the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended” , he said.
” It will be difficult for a Country as diverse as Nigeria to achieve progress adopting a unitary system of government in democracy” .
“Real development requires popular ownership and participation” , he said.
Odebowale further said, ” the idea of development must not be reduced to the issue of only brick and mortar, it must encapsulate the totality of the aspirations of the people towards advancement” .
“We must be ready to restructure the polity to reflect our diversity” , he declared.
It would be recalled that, today is the 30th Anniversary of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election which was the freest and fairest election in Nigeria and the election was clearly won by late M.K.O Abiola.
The annulment compelled the nation into an epic struggle of democracy versus dictatorship, choice versus coercion and people versus power.
And on May 29, 1999 Democracy won, but it did so at a dear high price as the man who should have been President ( MKO Abiola ) lost his life while suffering unlawful detention.
The well attended event also has in attendance Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Olamide Oladiji who led other Congress members to the event, Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Ayedun Odusola, Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, Chief of Staff to Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele, Ondo State APC Chairman represented by Hon Festus Aregbesola and members of Ondo State Executive Council.
Others are Deji of Akure and Chairman of Ondo State Council of Obas represented by Oba Olujigba of Ijigba, HRH ( Ambassador ) Revd Luyi Rotimi, Chief Imam of Akure Alhaji Yayi Akorede, Venerable John Omotayo, Permanent Secretaries, Head and Members of Boards and Parastatals, Labour Leaders, June 12, 1993 Advocates, Heads of Security Agencies, Secondary School Students and others.