By; NASIRU SULEIMAN, Sokoto
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has expressed concerns that, despite the attainment of two decades of sustained democracy in Nigeria, the elections in which Nigerians could vote and be voted for has never been free and fair.
The Governor made this observation at a one-day conference on 20 years of democracy in Nigeria, at Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he was a Special Guest.
Speaking under the theme: “Electoral Governance, Civil Society and (In)security,” also within the period under review, insecurity has proliferated and is still a gargantuan threat that could be tackled through preventive measures such as: “battle of minds,” building of “superior security force” and “intelligence gathering.”
Tambuwal spoke in his capacity as the Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), suggested antidotes to elections logjams and hiccups. He proferred that the institutions of democracy must be strengthened; just as education, health, agriculture and housing sectors must be vibrant and be able to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
He insisted that over and above all the foregoing, the rule of law must be upheld as paramount in governance while national cohesion should be the basis of Nigeria’s existence into the future.
Supported by the occupant of the Rhodes Chair in Race Relations at the African Studies Center at the University of Oxford, Professor Wale Adebanwi, the conference attracted diverse speakers such as the former Vice Chancellor Igbinedion University, Eghosa Osagie, director of the Center for Democracy and Development Abuja, Dr Jubrin Ibrahim, Prof. Peter Lewis of John Hopkins University, USA, Adigun Agbaje of the University of Ibadan and Okechukwu Ibeanu of INEC.
Former FCT minister, Aliyu Modibbo Umar, who is also a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, Zainab Usman of the World Bank, Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Prof. Ebenezer Obadare of the University of Kansas, USA.