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Rep: People are hungry… there’s nothing to celebrate after 25 years of democracy

Rep: People are hungry… there’s nothing to celebrate after 25 years of democracy
May 29
16:52 2024

Lilian Orogbu, a member of the house of representatives, says there is nothing to celebrate as Nigeria marks 25 years of democracy.

Orogbu, who represents the Awka north/Awka south federal constituency of Anambra, spoke on the floor of the green chamber on Wednesday while contributing to the debate on the nation’s 25 years of unbroken democracy.

Since Nigeria returned to democracy on May 29, 1999, there has been no military takeover like those that occurred after the country gained independence in 1960.

The lawmaker, who is a professor of business administration, said Nigerians have not enjoyed good governance from the democratic system.

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“We are celebrating 25 years of an unbroken democratic system. This celebration is coming to me with so many mixed feelings because Nigerians are all watching us,” she said.

“Those people we are representing are listening to us. How much of this unbroken democracy that we are celebrating today?

“How has it translated to unbroken food security? How has it transformed into unbroken security in the nation? How has it transformed into unbroken security in the nation? How has it transformed into unbroken access to education and access to healthcare, and we are talking of a celebration of democracy?

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“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And it should actually change the lives of our people.

“Our people are hungry back home. To be honest with you, Mr speaker, there is nothing to celebrate. We should be celebrating food security and access to healthcare.”

But Ben Kalu, the deputy speaker, who presided over the plenary, retorted: “Oh, you are saying we should not celebrate democracy?”

“Democracy is what is protecting you. Democracy has given you that place where you are standing to represent the people,” Kalu said.

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Orogbu, a member of the Labour Party (LP), said she came to the national assembly under democracy, but the system has not benefited her constituents.

“How has it impacted my own people?” she asked.

In his contribution, Idris Wase, chairman of the committee on federal character, said Nigerians have significantly benefited from democracy.

“We are benefiting, and the country is benefiting. In the past, some few persons will sit in a small room and call themselves supreme military council and decide for us what millions are supposed to take decisions on,” Wase said.

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“But today it is over. I want to commend our forefathers who worked to ensure that democracy is entrenched in this country. It wasn’t gotten easily. That is why I believe that June 12 is important to us.”

Kafilat Ogbara from Lagos, said democracy has not substantially benefited women, noting that they are not given fair representation in politics.

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The lawmaker called for reforms to increase the representation of women in party politics and elective offices.

“We want a situation where the electoral body will reject a single gender list for house of representatives and senate. It is undemocratic,” the lawmaker said.

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