By; VICTOR DAZANG, Kaduna
Asattahiir International Foundation has joined Nigerians in celebrating the reconsidered Democracy Day as it holds on June 12.
A statement signed by the Chairman and founder of Foundation, Malam Aliyu Sidi Attahiru Sokoto and released to the press in his office on Tuesday, stated that democracy provides Nigerians opportunity to freely elect leaders of their choice.
“In Nigeria, as in many countries, the right for citizens to freely participate in the democratic process was achieved after considerable struggle and suffering of the few. We remember and celebrate all those who sacrificed so much for the freedom we enjoy today,” the statement added.
The statement emphasized that the struggle to actualize democracy gives it a special value and places responsibility on all to support the democratic process.
“We congratulate Nigeria on the antecedents of June 12, 1993 and progress made since May 29th 1999, including the first peaceful transition of power from a ruling party to an opposition party in 2015.
“As we celebrate our progress, we encourage and support Nigeria and its people to consolidate and deepen democracy as the country heads towards another milestone in it’s democratic project
The foundation added that youth and women empowerment should be among the major priorities of this new administration as it will lead to addressing security challenges in the country.
“We are particularly keen to see greater participation in politics from under-represented groups, including women, young people and people with disabilities,” it added.
The foundation also called on Nigerians to use this democracy day celebration in helping the orphans and less privilege.
“The Foundation also offers its strong support and thanks to the outgoing Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in person of Senator Bukola Saraki by donating his final entitlement to some orphans and less privileged. We also appreciate the gesture by the New Governor of Zamfara State in person of Rt. Hon. Muhammed Bello Matawllen Maradun for adopting some numbers of orphans in the state immediately after his inauguration.
“Democracy is not only about the voting process. It also requires a strong and continous commitment from political actors to uphold the democratic ideals. We have noted with concern recent reports of banditry, insurgency, spates of kidnappings and violence by Boko haram and corruption across the country.
“We take advantage of this national celebration of democracy to urge all religious leaders to embark on prayers and orientation to peace and unity to reign in the country,” it urged.
Asattahir Foundation also called on political leaders to maintain Nigerian and international norms and support a credible process.
“It is the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freely express their will,” it concluded.