June 12, 2024

June 12: Return to truly democratic nation — Peter Obi tells Nigerian leaders

2023: What else can Peter Obi do to win?

Mr Peter Obi

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in 2023, Peter Obi, has called on political leaders to return to a truly democratic nation.

Obi made this call in a statement via his verified X handle on Wednesday.

According to him, democracy was beyond elections, but fulfilling the responsibilities of responsible governance as contained in the constitution.

He urged Nigerian leaders to respect and protect the institutions of a democratic state, by obeying the governing laws of the state and being accountable to the people.

His comments come on the heels of the 2024 celebration of Democracy Day on June 12 in Nigeria.

The Labour Party leader noted that the creation of a true society for democracy to thrive is possible.

Obi stated, “As our dear nation marks Democracy Day today, commemorating 25 years of striving to be a democratic country, the fundamental question for all of us remains: Are we truly democratic?

“As we build a New Nigeria, these tenets shall be the pillars of our true democracy. It is possible.”

The former presidential candidate also lamented some of the ratings, which he said were indications that the nation is not truly democratic.

He added, “To further illustrate that we are not truly democratic and have only produced the vices enumerated above, we are now ranked as follows:

“In the measurement of democracy, we have a democracy index score of 4.23, which ranks us low on the Global Democracy Index. In the Corruption Perception Index, we are ranked 145th among the 180 countries measured, showing a high level of corruption in Nigeria. 

“In the Rule of Law Measurement, we are ranked 120th out of 142 countries measured in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, indicating that Nigeria suffers from gross disobedience to the rule of law.

“The 2024 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Nigeria as one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.

“Nigeria ranks 112th out of 180 countries where journalists are regularly monitored, attacked, and arbitrarily arrested. We are ranked 109th out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index,” he said.

Obi urged political leaders to return to true democracy.

“Let us, therefore, use the commemoration of June 12 as an occasion to return to a truly democratic nation. We achieved that feat on June 12, 1993, by collectively voting for democracy in Nigeria. We must stand in defence of Nigeria’s democracy today,” he added.