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1001+ Voices Initiative for People Empowerment (1001+ Voices), a community based non-governmental organization joined Nigerians to mark and celebrate 2020 Democracy Day, describing June 12 as “the fervent symbol of Nigeria’s democratic struggle.”

 

The group, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Ide Owodiong-Idemeko, said “In May 2019, the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government declared June 12 as the National Democracy Day.  Today, effectively marks the official celebration as a nationally recognized holiday, set aside to commemorate Nigeria’s struggle to enthrone genuine people’s democracy.”

 

“1001 Voices upholds that democracy is fundamental to a nation’s socio-economic growth as a vital stimulus for its development. To this end, true democratic values must be engaged, especially in ensuring the imputation of egalitarianism, a sense of belonging, and the fostering of a culture of equal opportunities including the democratization of institutions, enthronement of the rule of merit, and engendering gender equality.  This is of fundamental importance to growing our hard-won democracy.”

 

“In its true spirit and symbol as essentially captured by the objective of its essence, 1001+ Voices urges all Nigerians, especially politicians never to be allowed to go back on her newfound democratic paths; and advises the Federal Government to strive and ensure the effective implementation of democratic standards in the lives of the people and among the nation’s institutions.”

 

“Key to these is the separation of powers and institutional sanctity of the various arms of government, especially the Legislature and the Judiciary, to truly make them independent and autonomous in the service of nation building. In line with this expectation, 1001+ Voices appreciates ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to guarantee the autonomy of the State Legislature and the Judiciary, which are considered the bastions of our democracy as enshrined in the constitution. We call on Government at all levels to work to deepen democracy and tacitly ensure the actual implementation of the doctrine of separation of powers, which we consider sacrosanct to guaranteeing a healthy democracy.”

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“1001 Voices counsels that no efforts should be spared in the nation’s attempt and civil calls to right the wrongs of the past, engender democratic principles, and guarantee more liberties and freedoms to the citizens, especially in the area of leadership recruitment process.  The nation’s political parties as veritable anchors of our democracy must be recurrently transparent in this direction, as well as, eminently reflect regular and direct participation of the masses in its processes. Such bold steps will allow for internal democracy to become enthroned and guarantee unhindered participation in the recruitment and selection of individuals of proven integrity to drive the growth of our democracy.”

 

“1001 Voices notes the key importance of youths in our growing democracy. Opportunities must be provided for our youths to actively participate in determining how their future will play out. This requires establishing the right atmosphere that engenders growth and the ample realization of the full potentials of our youths within the ambit of an evolving democracy.”

 

“1001 Voices pays tribute to our many heroes and heroines who died by paying the supreme price in the process of actualizing the struggle. “We cannot in all sincerity, therefore, discount the enormous sacrifice made by these known and unknown compatriots who led the struggle to free our nation from the shackles and jackboots of erstwhile militocracy that reigned large on the land”. Of special mention is Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola who was the icon of the June 12 pro-democracy struggle.”

 

“Finally, 1001 Voices expresses an ever-abiding faith in the resourcefulness and resilience of the Nigerian people to build a democratic society capable of sustaining a better and more functional Nigeria. We cannot just throw our hands up in the air and give it up to the politicians to do as they please. Like Barak Obama said: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Let us act now by contributing to make democracy work for all Nigerians,”” the group said.

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