Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

Democracy Day: Economic reforms necessary repairs to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth —Tinubu

.Says despite hardship, initial rays of a brighter tomorrow now appear

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

.’I’m committed to realization of economic democracy’

.To send an executive bill on new minimum wage to NASS

28
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

IBRAHIM QUADRI

President Bola Tinubu has defended his administration’s ongoing economic reforms despite the accompanying hardship insisting that they were initiated and intended to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth.

“There is no doubt the reforms have occasioned hardship. Yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the economy over the long run so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay and compensation for his endeavour and labour. As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and never turn my back on you”, assured.

Tinubu gave the assurance Wednesday in a national broadcast to mark the 25th  anniversary ‘’Unbroken Democracy in Nigeria and Democracy Day”

He said: “My fellow Nigerians, let me begin by congratulating all of us for witnessing the celebration of another Democracy Day today, the 12th day of June 2024. This year also marks our nation’s 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance.

“On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our rites of passage to becoming a true and enduring democratic society. Going through this passage was hard and dangerous. During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our natural rights as human beings put on this earth by the divine hand of our Creator.

“We lost great heroes and heroines along the way. In this struggle, the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, the most significant symbol of our democratic struggle, his wife, Kudirat, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Pa Alfred Rewane, among others sacrificed their very lives. They bravely surrendered their futures, so that our nation might have a better one.

“Let us honour the memories of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ganiyu Dawodu, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Chima Ubani, and others who have transited to the higher realm.

“The sacrifices of General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Ralph Obioha, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, among many others, should never be forgotten. For at least six years, they bore the pains and difficulties of life in exile.
“While the exiled pro-democracy activists kept the fire burning, their comrades at home sustained the pressure on the military brass hats. Among the latter are Olisa Agbakoba, Femi Falana, Abdul Oroh, Senator Shehu Sani, Governor Uba Sani, Chief Olu Falae, and other National Democratic Coalition leaders such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Ayo Opadokun.
“The sacrifices they made, and the precious gift brought about by their selfless devotion can never be repaid. Neither shall it be forgotten.

We could not have won the battle against military dictatorship without the irrepressible Nigerian journalists who mounted the barricades along with the pro-democracy activists”.
Continuing, he said “I stand uniquely placed in this regard. I was among those who took the risk to midwife the birth of our democracy. I am now a direct and obvious beneficiary of the fruits of those historic efforts.

“As president of this nation, I am morally and constitutionally bound to preserve this precious form of governance. I vow to do my utmost best to protect your rights, freedoms, and liberties as citizens of Nigeria.

Even more than that, I pledge to do whatever is necessary to cement democracy as our way of life. Although the challenges are steep and multiple, I am grateful to lead Nigeria at this moment in her history and point in her democratic journey.

“I come before you also to declare that our most important work remains before us. This real test has never been whether we would rise to challenge the slings of misfortune and grievous pain of dictatorship.

The real test is whether we shall lower our guards as the shadow of despotism and its evident physical danger fade. I say to you here and now that as we celebrate the enshrinement of our political democracy, let us commit ourselves to the fulfilment of its equally important counterpart, the realisation of our economic democracy.
“I understand the economic difficulties we face as a nation.

Our economy has been in desperate need of reform for decades. It has been unbalanced because it was built on the flawed foundation of over-reliance on revenues from the exploitation of oil.

“The reforms we have initiated are intended to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth. There is no doubt the reforms have occasioned hardship. Yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the economy over the long run so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay and compensation for his endeavour and labour.
“As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you. In this spirit, we have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less.

“In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict.

No one was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution. Reasoned discussion and principled compromise are hallmarks of democracy. These themes shall continue to animate my policies and interaction with the constituent parts of our political economy.
“I take on this vital task without fear or favour and I commit myself to this work until we have built a Nigeria where no man is oppressed. In the end, our national greatness will not be achieved by travelling the easy road. It can only be achieved by taking the right one.
The words of the American President Franklin Roosevelt certainly ring true: “There are many ways of going forward. But only one way of standing still”!

“We dare not slumber lest the good things awaiting our immediate future pass us by. We dare not plant our feet in idle standstill in the middle of the intersection of hope and despair. We know the proper way forward and we shall take it!

“The initial rays of a brighter tomorrow now appear on the early horizon. An abundant future and our capacity to achieve that future lie within our reach. Democracy and the institutions it begets offer to take us to our profound destination.

“Let us board this progressive train together. Together, let us move Nigeria forward. Let’s continue to keep the fire of democracy burning. Let’s keep the torch lit for generations to come.

May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and preserve our democracy. I wish us all Happy Democracy Day”.

 

For a better society

—————————————————————–

Kindly follow us across all our social media platforms to stay up-to-date with the latest news and happenings in Nigeria and across the globe.

Facebook – https://facebook.com/championnewsonline

Instagram – https://instagram.com/championnewsonline

Twitter– @championnewsng

Comments are closed.