June 12: Ezekwesili reveals how democracy can work for Nigerians
A former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on Wednesday said there was need for deepening of the country’s democracy, to serve as catalyst for progress.
NAN reports that Ezekwesili emphasised on the need while speaking at a lecture on June 12 at the home of late MKO Abiola in Ikeja, Lagos State.
The former minister said democracy should be about the people as well as their welfare.
She, however, expressed regrets that the country’s democracy had not fared well to serve interests of the masses in the last 20years.
The former World Bank executive said for the country to move in the path of progress, there was a compelling need to begin to do the right things to deepen democracy .
“Democracy, they say, should be a government of the people by the people for the people .
“But have we had that in the past 20 years? No. Democracy has only worked for a few and not the Nigerian people.
“The rate of poverty has continued to increase and only recently, the country was labelled the poverty capital of the world.
“If democracy must work for the people in this country, there is compelling need for us to have a leadership that reflects the choice of the people and that will respond to their needs,” she said.
The former minister said lessons abound for the country’s democracy through the June 12 1993 elections.
She said the election was a watershed in the country’s democratic history, as it was a day Nigerians spoke with one voice to elect MKO Abiola as president.
She described late Abiola as a man of the people, saying the country would progress with leaders who cared about the masses.