By Emeka Mamah
KADUNA – The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has described democracy as practiced in the country in the last 11 years as a â€œshamâ€.
It therefore urged the ruling Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP, to hasten its current efforts at reforming the electoral process so that people can elect leaders who will be accountable to them as well as hold themselves accountable for their judgement during elections.
This was contained in a statement issued in Kaduna todayÂ and signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Mr. Anthony Sani to mark this yearâ€™s Democracy Day celebrations.
â€œDemocracy without viable opposition as alternative platforms is a sham, precisely because such scenario tends to reduce the choice for the voters to, not which party can perform but which one has the capacity to win elections.
â€œOne can say this because, the current political parties are mere clones of one another, and so, smacks of one party system cast in the mould of multiparty democracyâ€, Sani stated.
Â The statement further read, â€œACF, congratulates the Federal Government for the 11th Anniversary celebrations of the Democracy Day.
â€œThe celebration is an indication that the people of Nigeria have come to accept democracy as their preferred form of government, precisely because it allows for mass participation of the people in the choice of their leaders who are expected to impel progress by multiplying their strength through others.
â€œWhat still remain now to be addressed with all sense of seriousness are challenges which are associated with democratic practices.
â€œTo this end, the celebration should include comprehensive stock-taking with a view to improving upon the current practices in the hope of increasing the volume and quality of democracy dividends.
â€œThe government should use this occasion and resolve to hasten electoral processes that will make peoplesâ€™ votes to count and produce leaders who will be accountable to the people; who will in turn hold themselves accountable for their dudgement during elections.
â€œThe nation must, therefore, support the governmentâ€™s consciously directed efforts in making what we collectively desire possible and then actual.
â€œThe common aspirations of Nigerians are anchored on the desire for a peaceful, united Nigerian society that is socially diverse, economically empowered and politically active under the watch of purposeful leadership produced by a democracy predicated on triple foundation of justice, liberty and common decencyâ€.