Democracy Day Speech (Nigeria)



Lateef Oladimeji SALAAM.

(June 12, 2019)

As Nigerians commemorate this 12th day of June as 'Democracy Day', it is indeed memorable and an eventful period it is in the history of our existence as a people, nation and a democratic independent entity.

Undoubtedly, 20 years of an uninterrupted Civil Rule and most lengthy democracy to Nigerians is a long way to call. This indeed calls for celebration that we could still stand as a people, a nation and a voice, despite all odds and challenges over the past two decades.

Notably, Nigeria's uninterrupted democratic sojourn of two-decades (1999 - 2019) had been characterized at a stretch with mixed experiences; the good and the bad, progress and retrogression, economic boom and upturn, upheavals and giant strides, success and challenges, hopes and successive fulfilments.

No matter how it appeared to us as individuals and a people, the fact is that our Democracy has been sustained, though with opened rooms for further improvement.

We strongly believe that the years to come will be filled with positivism, success stories, giant strides of achievements and unmatched synergy towards Unity, development of sound democratic values and ultimately developing the Youths of our dear country, Nigeria.

Our core belief in attaining a peaceful Nigeria still resonates possibility, only if our Government and leaders alike will do more in connecting with the electorates.

Obviously, Nigeria has a growing Democracy. Unlike other developed nations, Nigeria's Democracy is still at its forming phase; but we can keep growing from Strength to Strength. 

The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari owes the Country a Civic responsibility to protect our young democracy, so does successive Government.

We urge the Government at all tiers to learn from the obstacles we overcame, as a Country, and the progress we made thus far, to help strengthen the plans that we have in place to put Nigeria back on the path of progress.

On recent formation of new government across the country after 2019 General Elections, we wish to emphasize 'People, Participation and Productivity' - On this, our youths have strategic roles to play.

AYDEC Nigeria hereby implore our Youths to take ownership of our dear country. It belongs to all of us.

As Youths, who make the chunk of the nation's population (over 95 million Nigerian Youths), we have a vital role to play towards sensitizing the entire nation and the world at large. Our role is simple: 'Preach Peace in Principle, Action and Speech' then 'Participate in Governance' towards purposeful engagement and sustainable development.

AYDEC Nigeria also condemns the well known fact that some selected few (people) had taken power as their 'personal property' in exchange of abject poverty in return to the larger number of people. This is not just undemocratic but worrisome!

We hereby implore our elected-few to consider the well-being of the majority. This will further strengthen the core values of our young Democracy and propel it for a geometric progression towards the 'Nigeria We all Desire'.

We wish to state unequivocally that the Focal Point and Central Theme of Democracy is the people. Government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE. Therefore, Government must show unconditional concern for the people it governs. Workable techniques and solutions should be swiftly deployed to stop the incessant killings across the country. Adequate security measures should also be taken with drastic approaches towards stopping the ill-acts.

It is true that our journey to Nationhood and Democracy from 1960 to date has been characterized by upheavals and turbulences, yet we must cherish our commitment to remain united, in unison and respect for one another. We must also acknowledge the strength and value of our diversity, with due understanding and recognition of the interests of various ethnic nationalities in our hearts.

As real patriots, we have decided to raise the flag of our dear country, because Nigeria is ours!

Notably, Nigeria is a unique nation blessed in diversity. And in our diversity lies our strength.

It's worthy of note that the problem of Nigeria is not Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba neither is it in Christianity nor Islam. Indeed, the inability to tolerate, appreciate ourselves and peacefully coexist is.

Accept your neighbour as he is. Respect his dignity and celebrate his difference. Be a friend to all and an enemy to non.

Worthy of reference is that our dear Nation had had its unfair share of what threatens our unity, peaceful co-existence, togetherness and entity in recent times. From the North to the East, West to the South, we had series of violent agitations and ethnical unrest.

However, regardless of our religious differences, ethnical inclinations and ideological beliefs, we have resolved to remain ONE and UNITED. This is worthy of commendation and worthwhile feat to celebrate on this Occasion of our Democracy Day.

As we commemorate our Democracy Day today, the African Youth for Development Commission (AYDEC) Nigeria sincerely calls on the Three Arms of Government (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) to forge a common front of national interest to address important issues bothering on security, economic growth, infrastructural development, and well-being of Nigerians alongside other priorities.

We wish to commend the Executive and Legislative arms of government for the upward review of the minimum wage to #30,000. However, despite escalating costs of living, devaluation of the naira and evident economic hardship in the land, workers are still forced to survive on this token (minimum wage) with many States owing backlog of salaries and pensions. A sustainable mechanism should be adopted towards enhancing the capacity of our workforce; they are the strength of the nation.

Lastly, the Democracy Day should transcend beyond the celebration and commemoration to incisive reflection on our past, so that the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain

I, on behalf of the National Executive Board, 36 State Coordinators and entire members of African Youth for Development Commission (AYDEC) Nigeria congratulate all Nigerians, both at home and in the diaspora on today’s commemoration of this important day in our democratic calendar.

Nigeria is ours, only we can make it better!



Lateef Oladimeji SALAAM

Country Representative (Nigeria)

African Youth for Development Commission (AYDEC)


Tel.: +2348029082179

©AYDEC-Nigeria 2019

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