Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State says democracy remains the best form of government that has thrived in Nigeria.
Speaking to State House Correspondents, the Governor added his voice to those condemning the call for revolution by an organization known as ‘Global Coalition for Security and Democracy.’
He said: “Any call for disorder in a democratic setting is condemnable because the democracy as the saying goes is not the best form of government but it is the best that we have, because it gives opportunity periodically for the electorates to exercise their mandate in affirming or rejecting leaders.
“We have just come through a general election in march this year where Nigerians embraced the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari and he has been elected for a second term with a little more votes than they have in 2015, also state governors were elected in different states, a lot of them second termer and a number of them first termers and interestingly enough we have seen all kinds of democratic outcomes which hitherto what we have thought differently, particularly in a democratic setting.
“We have first termers defeating second termers and in the case of one state, the Supreme Court exercising their rights as the highest court in the land to determine what should be and it is respected by the government.
“So, to celebrate the evolution of our democracy, we are progressing from one mandate to the other. In the last few years, Nigeria has faced economic downturn which has been occasioned by changes in global economy. In 2008 the world began to witness recession which affected many countries and in 2011, Nigeria had a wage increase so you have economic downturn in the world and you have a wage increase which is commendable but the effect of the two continue to hit hard and then in 2014, we also had another economic crisis.”
The Governor said there were better ways of channeling grievances, instead of calls for revolution.
“We have institutions that have been created to express discontent and once people take up the law to their hands rather than expressing it through the right channel. We all have representatives why don’t they go in front of the House or office of their representatives so that they can raise the point and demands, so that their representatives whether councillor, House of Assembly or National Assembly members but where people decided to take the law into their hands, other people whose peaceful conduct is being affected are entitled to be protected and to the extent that it involves authority showing restraint and that did not go out of hand it is the proper thing to do.”
The Governor said there were pointers to the fact that the calls for revolution were instigated from outside Nigeria.
“Developing countries have generally been worried about conspiracy from the western world. Historically, Walter Rodney and Amilcar Cabrio and others have always been worried about effect of foreign actors and more so, we are not alone.
“There is still a raging debate in the United States which is more advanced than us as to whether the Russians have influenced their elections, we have seen the intrusion of the social media which we don’t control. So, there is suspicion because of the way the world is evolving, one cannot dismiss such suspicion. But what is even worrisome is that the response that you don’t see in other countries… as we speak Greece has suspended payment to anybody who has money deposit in banks but yet we don’t have people who are saying let us create a confusion. They will wait for election circle that is the beauty of democracy.
“You will have the opportunity, particularly in Nigeria where we have seen it working, where people who are in office, who ought to be elected, have been defeated.”
Explaining how he has been able to manage security challenges in his state, the Governor said:
“I am not boasting because there is a popular Hausa saying that ‘if you see the beard of your neighbour on fire, get water and keep close to you’ that we are better than other states is not even a happy thing because the security of Kebbi is linked to the security of every part of Nigeria, so what we want to see is peaceful. But the issue is how is it that some states are better than others, maybe that is the lesson. Maybe some state economic opportunities are more, some have more investment opportunities but the general message as President Muhammadu Buhari has always said, for you to have a peaceful society, we have to focus on the need of every member of the society and that is what is being done in social investment programmes, that is what is being done to farmers, fishermen, pastoralists in Kebbi state we embraced that together with effective electoral, traditional institution, community leaders, religious leaders, we have focused on security issues on a non-divisive way. For us crime is crime.
“Whoever commits a crime, it doesn’t matter his ethnicity, he or she ought to be condemned as such and ought to be dealt with as a criminal. The systematic understanding of these issues is what causes conflict, the media should focus on these as well.”