The Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) has urged Nigerians to be civil and law abiding as the nation marks another year of democratic governance.
The President of the Nigerian Youth Congress, Blessing Akinlosotu, made this known to journalists in Abuja as the Nation marks the 2021 Democracy Day.
He affirmed that the best form of government still remains the democratic system which is the principle of popular sovereignty, that posits that government can be legitimated only by the will of those whom it governs.
Essentially, the task of any society is to reconstruct and revitalize itself, build its own capabilities and educate, organize and mobilize the citizens with the view to ensuring that the democratic space is expanded; democratic culture is deepened, and democracy itself is consolidated and made to become sustainable and irreversible.
Nourished by the milk of liberal constitutionalism and political imperative, indeed the comfort of human rights, a vibrant democratic structure enhanced by popular sovereignty; placing powers in the hands of the people, men and women, and their popularly elected representatives, and in doing so, creates the very conditions which civil society will blossom and flourish.
He noted that the challenges are not far from having effective institutional capacity building for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peace-keeping and security which must be adequately put in place to enhance good governance and economic stability in Nigeria.
He advised the citizens to be patriotic and do everything humanly possible to sustain the democratic system based on the assumption that it still remains the best form of government.
“Democracy, it should be remembered is not a potted plant which can be transplanted into any soil to grow without work or effort. However, we should know that it is undisputable that sustaining democracy is the function of the citizens. Since the civil society consists of numerous organizations that cover diverse interest and segments of the society, it should become the major defender of democracy.”
Being involved in policy-making and implementation by the government, civil society will be able to monitor the democratic processes and the performance of institutions and programs. If it can monitor and evaluate the performance of the democratic project, it implies that it will not only defend democracy but sustain it.
Akinlosotu suggested that democracy goes beyond forming political parties, general elections, and having a civilian government in power. It is a process that does not terminate overnight and involves full and effective participation of citizens in determining policies and decisions which affect their lives at all levels and at all times. It involves the responsiveness of the government to the needs and aspirations of the citizens. It is based on the ability of a Nation to provide channels for discussions, consultations and mobilizations.
This is the level where the role of the people becomes not only critical but also paramount, he noted.