Nigerians have again been advised to safeguard democracy and ensure that the country has free and fair polls in 2015.
This charge is from the U.S. Consul-General in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, who was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Hubert Humphrey Annual Lecture, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.
Delivering the keynote address at the lecture which had as its theme, ‘The Democratic Journey in Nigeria, Learning From the American Experience’, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins said the lecture was not meant to praise the US democratic system but an opportunity for Nigeria to learn from its shortcomings.
“As you all know for example, my country just went through a 2 week government shutdown, where civil servants were forced to sit home while all but essential government services ground to a halt. Many observers in the United States and overseas asked themselves how and why this could happen in one of the strongest democracies in the world.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s democratic process, he said “in 2015, Nigeria again will go to the ballot box and I call on the young men and women here to explore the abundant resources and great opportunities in the nation to take up responsibility to make your voices heard for peace and progress, to project a powerful voice against corruption, advocate for positive change, and provide generational insight on development issues.”
The chairman of the occasion was the National President of the Nigeria-America Chamber Of Commerce (NACC), Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Olabintan Famutimi.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme is a programme for mid-career professionals, sponsored by the US State Department. The 2013 edition had professionals, security officials, diplomats, and students in attendance.