Nigerians still impoverished in spite of 14 years of democracy – Senator

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solomon_ewugaAs Nigeria marks 14 years of uninterrupted democracy, Sen. Solomon Ewuga (CPC-Nasarawa) has said that Nigerians are still yearning for improvement in the quality of their living.

The senator made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Agency (NAN),on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that Nigerians were now more than before interested in reaping the dividends of democracy than listening to preachment on the ideals of democratic governance in the country.

According to him, good governance, responsible and responsive leadership had not manifested in the nearly one and half decades of civilian rule in order to advance the over all interest of Nigerians.

Ewuga identified absence of internal democracy within political parties as the cog in the wheel of democracy in the country.

He said that politicians failed to allow due process and the rule of law be the order of the day, as powerful individuals seem to manage the democratic space to their own advantage.

In his assessment of the infrastructure development in the last 14 years, Ewuga said, “it is slow and does not seem to match with the amount of resources ear-marked in the budget every year.

The law maker also stressed the urgency for the fight against corruption to be intensified as “the menace hinders money from being circulated for execution of laudable projects”.

“We are not getting it, we are moving at snail speed, and corrupt practices should be checked, the value of the naira should manifest on the job given and ultimately carried out.

“The only way to increase the value of the naira is for the money to be spent for the purposes of which they were meant to be,” he said.

Ewuga said further that the hall mark of democracy was free and fair elections, adding that rigging of elections would only turn the hand of the clock backward.

He said that it was sad that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which had the rights to prosecute those who encouraged in malpractices had up till date not prosecuted anybody for electoral offences during the 2011 general elections.

“Reports were made of those who encouraged rigging, if INEC cannot prosecute them, then rigging cannot be stopped; INEC must apply its prosecuting powers,” he said.

 

On the level of insecurity in the country the lawmaker said “the first charge on the budget is security and if we cannot secure ourselves then we have nothing to look up to.”

He said there was the need for greater community involvement in the fight against the menace.

“With this, the communities will be able to manage themselves or else we are going to have problems.

“Those systems that made people more secured should be brought back in the communities to ensure that people advance themselves positively,” he said.

 

 

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