President Muhammadu Buhari says it is a time for sober reflection, celebration of freedom and a united Nation, as Nigeria celebrates 22 years of uninterrupted democracy.
The President made the remark in a nationwide broadcast to citizens, to mark this year’s democracy day.
He however, urged citizens to be patient as the country’s democracy gradually improves, to the desired level of maturity.
He said: “I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day. It is a celebration of freedom and victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.
“As it is with most democracies, we will always be going through improvement processes, in our desire to reach the goal of a matured democracy; a strong evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.”
President Buhari expressed delight that Nigeria has been able to succumb to some challenges that threatened the survival of the country.
President Buhari said; “In the last two years, we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations, especially relating to our collective security.
“The indefatigable can-do spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and will keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us. Unfortunately, some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages, leading to loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.”
“Once again, I want to render my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women, who lost their lives in the line of duty and a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.
“I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our countrymen, women and children who were victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders. I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking kidnap victims, who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment, ” President Buhari stated.
The Nigerian leader said every incident of kidnaping or any act of criminality that takes away life or constraints any citizen of the country gives him great concern and he is not resting on his oars until such issues are brought to an end.
The President said; “Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor, gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
“Fellow Nigerian, when you elected me in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity especially the insurgency in the North-East. But the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North-East, pushed them further in-country, which is what we are now facing and dealing with. We will by the grace of God, put an end to these challenges too. ”