Those against democracy spit on graves of Nigeria’s martyrs, says Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, former minister of works and housing, says those who push for “undemocratic alternatives” to democracy dishonour the memory of Nigeria’s martyrs.

Fashola spoke on Wednesday during an event organised by the Lagos house of assembly.

The event, themed ‘Federalism, the Quest for the Perfect Union’, was organised to commemorate Nigeria’s 25 years of uninterrupted democracy.

Speaking at the ceremony, Fashola said Nigeria must continue to cherish the memories of those who died in the fight for democracy.


The former minister said democracy is “tedious” and that the nature of the system of government “frustrates” many across the world.

Fashola said democracy with all its liberties and freedoms does not necessarily mean the government will work well for the people.

“It (democracy) came at an enormous cost including the cost of life and limb,” Fashola said.


“There are many who paid the ultimate price and did not even see the outcome that we gather here to commemorate.

“We must continue to honour their sacrifice and their memory by nurturing what took their lives more than most valued possessions.

“Those who do not know, or those who do but are impatient with democracy and therefore urge undemocratic alternatives spit on the graves of all the martyrs of our democracy and dishonour their memory.

“As I said, democracy can be tedious, this is globally acknowledged but its liberties are priceless for the preservation of the dignity of human civilisation.


“The tedium of democracy understandably frustrates not a few people worldwide including Nigeria and you might’ve heard them express it in complaints about our federalism.”

The former Lagos governor said although Nigeria’s federal system of government is not perfect, the country is on the path to perfection through reforms.

Fashola said the idea of a perfect federal union is “debatable” but Nigeria’s quest “remains a most noble undertaking”.

“This is the holy grail for many federal nations and Nigeria cannot be an exception,” he said.


“Whether a perfect union is even possible is debatable but the quest for it remains a most noble undertaking.

“Since Nigeria tasted federalism in 1954, under the Lyttleton constitution, its appeal has remained irresistible and this is understandable.


“It is understandable because a multi ethnic and multinational country like ours can only optimize its diversity in a federal arrangement.

“As our world changes with technology and innovation advancements, we will learn more about our world, about ourselves and seek to alter our governance arrangements.


“These are some of the things that have happened in the last 25 years and continue to happen today.

“Our constitution continues to change by judicial intervention such as the famous resource control case, the creation of local government case, the case about the rights of states to control physical and urban planning in their territories in the same way that some constitutional amendments have brought those changes in the search for a perfect union.”

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