Nigeria@63: CDD Extols Citizens’ Resilience, Calls for Urgent Reforms to Deepen Democracy and Deliver Development
October 1, 2023
As Nigeria marks the 63rd anniversary of its Independence today, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD West Africa) praises citizens for their resilience in sustaining democracy despite the challenges associated with the evolution of the process. CDD West Africa expresses its solidarity with all citizens and calls for the implementation of urgent reforms to ensure Nigeria’s democracy delivers development necessary to ensure prosperity for all peoples. The 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence presents another opportunity for the political elite to reflect deeply about the pathways through which democracy can directly solve the problems confronting everyday citizens. These challenges include poverty, insecurity, corruption, impunity, and bad governance.
Today, CDD West Africa pays homage to the assured, yet challenging journey of the Nigerian nation towards freedom, peace, and unity. As we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria, this occasion presents us with the pedestal to reflect on how to ensure our democratic experience touches all citizens in a way that helps them to overcome the current grotesque realities. Nigerians have heavily invested in their faith in democracy. While we remember the sacrifices of the heroes of democracy who died in the struggle to end military rule, we also must honor the innumerable unsung heroes across the country whose unwavering faith in democracy continues to be the most effective vehicle for pushing the country toward its manifest destiny.
In the light of the disturbing pattern of military takeover of the political space in the West African sub-region and in other parts of the African continent, the entire global community is hopeful that Nigeria will continue demonstrating its leadership role as the defender of democracy, and the rights it provides, across the continent. Notwithstanding Nigeria’s many internal challenges, there is no disputing the country’s position as first among equals when it comes to promoting and protecting government of the people, by the people. These enormous responsibilities and the country’s strategic roles on the continent of Africa make it imperative for the country to lead by example and correct the abuses currently penetrating all levels of Nigerian society.
While we commemorate this significant milestone of 63 years of nationhood, we remain acutely aware of the multifaceted challenges confronting Nigeria. These encompass pressing concerns including, but not limited to, varied security threats, inequality and inequities, and the lack of inclusion of historically marginalized groups. We fervently hope that the government of the day will proactively seek innovative solutions to address these paramount issues. As we assemble to commemorate this pivotal day, let us collectively reflect upon our shared history and the great possibilities before us as a people.
May Nigeria's Independence Day serve as a profound source of inspiration, compelling us to redouble our collective efforts towards building a prosperous and united homeland, which would remain a beacon of hope, not only for Nigerians, but for the entire black race. On our part as a pro-democracy think tank, we solemnly pledge to continue our mission of championing the ideals of democratic governance, including transparency, accountability, and inclusion. We firmly believe that by collectively upholding these principles as a country, we can collectively propel our nation towards a brighter future.
Centre for Democracy and Development