April 22, 2024

We must strengthen institutions for democracy to survive – Atiku

John Alechenu

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said our institutions need to be strengthened in order for democracy to survive and thrive in Nigeria.

Atiku, who was the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 elections, said this during solidarity visit to the Senator representing Bauchi Central, Abdul Ningi, in his Abuja residence.

Ningi was handed a three months’ suspension by his colleagues in the Senate for allegedly bringing the reputation of the institution to disrepute with allegations of financial malfeasance.

During his remarks, Atiku explained that the interest of Nigerians would better be served and envisaged development assured if premium is placed on strengthening the integrity of institutions of government.

Atiku said, “The integrity of public institutions, especially such as the National Assembly, is a mirror to how the interests of the masses are preserved and protected in a democracy.

“This agitation did not start just recently. It started during the military era, and it is essential that public institutions, especially the National Assembly, do not become a tool in the hands of oppressive governments.

“By our visitation today, we have come to show solidarity with Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi and to also pass a message to those who see public office as an instrument to oppress the people, that Senator Ningi is not alone in this struggle.

“In fact, the entire people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria in the international community are behind our drive to cleanse Nigeria of oppressive nuances of people in positions of authority”.

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In response, Senator Ningi who was until his suspension was the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, expressed gratitude to Atiku and his delegation for the visit and for choosing to take a stand on the side of the masses.

Ningi said, “The struggle that we are in today is to make sure that whichever political party is in power and whoever is in the position of public office, the interests of the masses must remain sacrosanct and insulated from the whims of any one individual, no matter how highly placed.”