Nigeria: Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has urged Nigerians to collectively defend and nurture democracy on the occasion of Democracy Day of Nigeria, on Sunday, 12 June.
He said that It is our collective responsibility to ensure that democracy continues to thrive and flourish in Nigeria, just as it has been doing so since 1999.
He spoke on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi at an interactive session with journalists to mark the 2022 Democracy Day.
Bagudu, who is also the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, added that there could never be an alternative to democracy as it had effectively worked for Nigeria.
This, he explained, was especially so in the last seven years with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration in the centre and in 22 states.
According to the Kebbi State Governor, without democracy, peace and unity, no nation could progress, but only retrogression would be the order of the day.
“We have to thank God, just have a look at seven west African countries that experienced military coups in the last year,” further said Bagudu.
He averred that for democracy to thrive, patience, perseverance and love for one another were required.
Bagudu was also delighted with the outcome of the APC special national convention that produced its presidential flag bearer, Senator Bola Tinubu.
Bagudu said that his emergence was a good omen for Nigeria as he would sustain the current trajectory of socio-economic transformation of the country, with Buhari as the indefatigable pilot.
He further solicited more support from all Nigerians for Buhari to sustain his legacy and successfully hand over power to his incoming successor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bagudu also reeled out a myriad of achievements of his administration in the last seven years.
According to the Governor, these modest achievements were a product of humility, piety, patriotism, accountability, honesty and transparency.
He said the state had achieved rapid progress in industrialisation within the last seven years as one of the major landmarks of his administration.
This, he said, was evident in the establishment of WACOT Rice Mill in Argungu, Tomatoes Processing Plant in Ngaski, Dangote Rice Mill in Saminaka and Lolo Rice Mill, Kamba, while the Ethanol Bio-Fuel Project is on the course which the governor said was a joint venture project between the state and NNPC.
On security, Bagudu said that the current security challenges were not peculiar to Nigeria, saying, “the security agencies are defying all the odds and trying their best.
He emphasised, “We need to commend them, although more needs to be done, just as they need more to be more efficient.”
On the recent defection of Senator Muhamadu Adamu Aliero and Senate Leader Dr Abdullahi Yahaya, as well as others, Bagudu said, “regrettably, I don’t want anybody to leave APC.”
He expressed the belief that Nigerians don’t have the time to fight each other but should complement one another.
He referred to the conflicts in the party in the state in the last year as “transition-related conflicts that are normal in periods like this.
On those who cast aspersions on him and rained uncharitable comments on his person, Bagudu urged them to eschew bitterness.
The governor expressed confidence about the strength of APC to remain victorious in the forthcoming election based on the will of God.
He urged the people of the state to sustain peace and tranquillity, pointing out that development was premised on a peaceful atmosphere.
Bagudu renewed its commitment to the protection of workers’ welfare, saying that many retirees have been paid their gratuity while others on the list would receive payment before the end of the year.
He also gave assurances that Government would pay to leave a grant of workers on the availability of funds.