The European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), says democracy has brought many gains to Nigeria in spite of challenges. The EU-SDGN said this in statement signed by its cohort members, on Monday in Abuja, to mark Democracy Day.
“The cohort noted that the country’s democracy, although not perfect and still growing with pockets of stormy and smooth sails, has brought with it many gains.” The cohort, which comprises 16 civil society groups, congratulated the government and people of Nigeria for the strides the country has made along democratic path since 1999.
“EU-SDGN pledges to continue to work assiduously towards strengthening Nigeria’s democracy and deepening the gains that come with it. The National Democracy Day serves to remind Nigerians of how far the country has come since June 12, 1993 and underlines the significant progress and achievements of democracy in the country.”
The cohort said some strides achieved included inclusivity and upholding principles of good governance, respect of human rights and rule of law, which are fundamental pillars of democracy globally.
The EU-SDGN cohort called on relevant stakeholders, including government, political parties, civil societies, and citizens, to continue upholding democratic principles and protecting democratic gains. The cohort said these were critical condiments for fostering peace, stability, and sustainable development in Nigeria.
“Through funding by the European Union, the EU-SDGN has been working to reinforce democracy by providing support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Others are National Assembly, Judiciary, Political Parties, Media, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and Civil Society Organisations.
According to the cohort, through EU’s interventions, the programme has provided technical assistance and capacity-building to strengthen democratic institutions, electoral processes, and civil society organizations.
It added that it also promoted transparency and accountability in government institutions, increasing citizens’ engagement for vibrant and participatory democracy.
The cohort include DAI Global, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Yiaga Africa, Kukah Centre, International Press Centre, Institute for Media and Society, ElectHER, and TAF Africa.
Others are Nigerian Women Trust Fund, National Peace Committee, SOS Children’s Villages, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa.
The rest include Justice, Development and Peace Commission, Justice Development and Peace Initiative, and Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre. Source: NAN