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“Nigerians hope Jonathan will deliver democracy’s dividends”
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“Nigerians hope Jonathan will deliver democracy’s dividends”

Over fifty heads of state witnessed the inauguration of the newly-elected Nigerian president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday. Tayo Elegbede, a radio presenter, social entrepreneur and writer from Lagos, reports on this new milestone for the country’s 12-year-old democracy.

Through its national journey since 1960, Nigeria as a political domain has experienced various forms of governance ranging from parliamentary to presidential to unitary, and the military system, which had a longer stay until May 29th 1999, when Nigeria was returned to a democratically elected government.

Today, Nigerians, and the country’s many lovers across the globe, celebrate the 12th year of its democratisation with the inauguration of newly-elected political officials like the president, governors.

Over the last month, the Nigerian electorate participated in a democratic process of electing their leaders, as such creating global impression that the country – which had hither to been known for conducting flawed elections – can really and truly conduct a free, fair and credible election.

For the first time in Nigeria and Africa’s history, the youth turn-out in the just concluded election was massive – an overwhelming 70 per cent of the voting population being youths.

The 2011 democracy day is a major milestone in Nigeria’s history, as over fifty heads of state witnessed the inauguration of the newly-elected president of the country, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his vice-president Nnamadi Sambo.

With the swearing in ceremony conducted by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Alu, the newly sworn in number one citizen of the country gave his inaugural speech, in which he stated that ‘Although the country fought for decolonisation, it won’t fight for democratisation’.

Most Nigerians are optimistic that the newly inaugurated government at all levels will deliver the over-due  dividends of democracy, such as a constant power supply, improved educational system, employment, security, improved medical facilities, amongst other things, so as to better the lot of its citizens. This in turn will position the most populous African country in its rightful place within the comity of nations.

Social analysts have noted that for a country like Nigeria to sustain and maintain its democratic structure and story, issues of tribalism, ethnicity, religion, selfishness and corruption must be relegated and replaced by the tenets of meritocracy, unity in diversity, credibility, transparency, responsibility and accountability in all parts of public life.

Let me end this write-up by congratulating Nigerians for participating in the country’s election process and telling all the newly elected political officials that we, the citizens, are watching and expecting the best of government over the next four years.

Once again, Congratulations Nigeria, Congratulations Africa.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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