By EMMANUEL OLONIRUHA and EMMANUEL MOGBEDE
ABUJA- The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is best at sustaining the momentum of entrenching democracy in this country, the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said.
Mustapha stated this in an interview with newsmen at the Eagle Square, venue of the 2022 Democracy Day in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the Buhari-led administration has not only sustained the country’s democracy, but consolidated and improved on its electoral processes.
“I believe that by the time we go round the 24 years, we would have consolidated on the gains of democracy.
“You can see the amount of improvement that is being made in the electoral processes which is one of the fundamental things we need to do to deepen democracy and make the contest fair, transparent and equitable to the people of Nigeria,” he said.
Mustapha also said that Nigerians have reasons to celebrate democracy day having recorded 23 years of unbroken democratic government in spite of challenges it had gone through as a nation.
“Twenty-three yeas of unbroken democracy in Africa, I think for a country like Nigeria that have had a lot of interruptions in the course of our political developments, I think it is a thing to rejoice over.
“And to also assure our people that we are birthing a new Nigeria as we transit beyond 24 years of democracy,” he said.
The SGF said that in spite of challenges facing the country, the Nigerian government and its people have continued to strive, especially in its economic development.
He urged Nigerians to continue to be hopeful and patriotic citizens as Nigeria moves towards 2023 and the elections.
“We are very resourceful, resonate and determined people. We don’t see defeat, we overcome them.
“Nobody will want to ignore the fact that there are challenges, both with security and economy which is a global phenomenal, but this is not only restricted to Nigeria.
“When I hear about cost in food products, it is a global phenomenal. The war between Ukraine and Russia has total impacted the world.
“COVID-19 has adverse effects, which we are just trying to overcome, but I can tell you that Nigeria as a nation has sustained economic growth.
“We have been able to exit recession, while most developed countries are still in it.
“We have been able to exit recession and we have continued to in the last quarters sustain growth and even diversified the economy.
“Petroleum, oil and gas is not the major index now in judging where our economy is going, but services.
“Services to the entertainment and other industries are providing for us to be able to sustain our economy and that is the best way to go, so that with this, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be able to create wealth and generate employment.”
He added that “government alone cannot provide for everybody, but have come to a point where we must resolve that the way to go is to provide enabling environment so that the people can just work as hard as they have always worked.
“Nobody will ever refer to Nigerians as lazy people. All over the world, we are considered vibrant, very strong and resourceful people,” Mustapha said.
The SGF said that the Buhari-led administration has also respected human rights and subjected itself to interrogations where necessary.
“I think we do the best that we can. In the process of having to serve in the last five years, if there is any government that is open and transparent about its engagements on the issue of human rights, it is this administration.
“We have not hidden anything. We have subjected ourselves to interrogations by the Human Rights Commission and other international bodies.
“There may be small human rights abuses here and there, it is part of the processes of evolving a humane, just and fair and equitable society,” he said. (NAN)