Democracy Day was observed on Thursday, May 29, across Nigeria but the day was celebrated in low key, as most residents stayed back in their homes to observe the holiday.
Residents of Kaduna State celebrated Democracy Day on a low key because of the security challenges and what they referred to as economic hardship in the country.
The Popular Murtala Mohammed Square that is usually used for such an occasion was empty. There was also low traffic on the major roads and streets in the state capital, as all Government offices, financial institutions and private offices did not open for business due to the public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
A financial expert, Mr Ben Aku and Spokesman of Kaduna State Government, Ahmed Maiyaki, who both spoke with Channels Television, believe that despite all the challenges, Nigeria’s democracy was on course.
They described the last 15 years of democratic stability in the country as a testimony that Nigeria was on the march to entrenching enduring democratic culture as the only means of exercising power by popularly elected representatives of the people.
The State Government believes that democracy has offered the citizens the opportunity for freedom of expression, as well as making Government accountable to the people. The Government noted that both the leaders and the led all have roles to play towards sustaining democracy in the country.
Residents, however, say Government should first live up to its responsibility of providing basic infrastructure for the people.
Delta Prays For Nigeria
The people of Delta State on their part chose to go spiritual, as they gathered at the state capital, Asaba, to pray for Nigeria and for the release of the Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect.
In an interdenominational thanksgiving service held at the event centre on Okpanam Road, Asaba, the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, pointed out that the 2014 Democracy Day was to pray for the country and not for any elaborate celebration.
Scores of Christian clergymen, traditional rulers, Muslim leaders, top government officials and people of Delta State in beautiful and colourful attires gathered to call on God with one voice to save Nigeria.
After a praise and thanksgiving session, the prayer session began and it was anchored by the Delta State Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Chairman, Bishop God-do-well Awomakpa.
Representing the children, the little girl called upon to pray for the Chibok girls stole the show with the passion with which she prayed for her abducted colleagues.
Reverend-Father Mario Dibie, in his sermon, emphasized the need for man to be in right standing with God. Highlighting eight oppositions in a man’s life that can hinder him from succeeding, he urged Nigerians to depend on God for their peace, security and salvation.
Cross-River Harps On Good Governance
The celebration in Cross River State, South South Nigeria, had a little fanfare but not without focus on an area of concern in the country.
The event was held at the main bowl of the Cultural Centre complex, Calabar and it was graced by traditional rulers, politicians from the state and the federal levels, as well as the civil society.
The Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, who described the day as his last Democracy Day celebration as the Governor of the state, based his message for the occasion on the essence of accountability and good governance on the part of leaders to the governed.
The Governor used the occasion to present his account of stewardship, and re-affirm his commitment to fulfilling electoral promises.