President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to Nigerians who paid the price to ensure democracy thrives in the country.
In a national broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day, he noted that the country has enjoyed 21 years of uninterrupted democratic rule as a result of the sacrifice made by the nation’s founding fathers.
“This day provides us an opportunity to reflect on our journey as a nation, our achievements, and struggles.
“It is a day to honour our founding fathers who toiled to establish our republic and every Nigerian who has worked tirelessly to sustain it,” the President said on Friday.
He stated that sustaining the nation’s democracy thus far has been a collective struggle and thanked Nigerians, especially leaders of various democratic institutions for their resilience.
President Buhari gave the assurance that this administration would always promote respect for the rule of law and ensure that the fundamental rights of the common Nigerian were protected.
“This administration is focused on ensuring that Nigeria would always be governed by the Rule of Law and I would do my utmost to uphold the constitution and protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
“Government has initiated a number of policies and programmes designed to promote the legal rights of Nigerians, facilitate the institutionalisation of a responsive legal system, provide support to all constituted bodies in implementing their mandates, and improve our custodial system of justice,” he added.
Pledge For Press Freedom
The National Assembly, according to the President, has been an important partner in the quest to sustain democracy and achieve development objectives.
He, therefore, thanked the leadership and members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for their invaluable support for his administration.
President Buhari also appreciated members of the press for their doggedness in the struggle for the attainment of democracy since the beginning of nationhood.
He acknowledged that the relationship between the media and successive governments has not always been perfect.
“There is no denying the fact that you have been an effective watchdog for the society, especially in holding public officers to account. It is sad that in the course of securing our democracy, some of your colleagues have had to pay a heavy price.
“We will continue to guarantee freedom of the Press as we place a high premium on responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news, and other unethical professional conduct,” the President said.