By Chibuike Nwabuko, Abuja
The annual National Political Summit (NPS), on Monday, commended the role of President Mohammadu Buhari and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in ensuring that the decision of the people of The Gambia and their Constitution were respected.
Organised by the Save Democracy Group Africa (SDGA), the three-day Summit, which is holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, is tagged: Nigerian Democracy, Constitutionalism And Leadership Recruitment Paradigm.
In his address, the Ag. Chairman, Governing Council of SDGA, Umar Na’Abba, commended the role of Buhari and ECOWAS in ensuring that The Gambia did not drift into anarchy.
The former Speaker of the House Of Representatives also thanked God that the former President, Yahya Jammeh, saw reasons in the will and decision of Gambians at last.
Na’Abba explained that the group aims at ensuring that the constitution and rule of law are respected.
He added that the group also ensures that elections are conducted in a free, fair and peaceful atmosphere.
Na’Abba condemned the recently conducted rerun elections in Nigeria, where lives were lost because of desperation to win at all cost.
Recalling that Nigeria fought a bitter civil war to remain united, he maintained that Nigrerians must uphold the dreams of the founding fathers of the country.
“And this can only be realised, if everybody joins hands to build a peaceful and stable country,” he added.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the former governor of Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor, said the theme of the Summit could not have come at a better time than now, when most African leaders enjoy to sit tight in office.
Osunbor, however, said that he does not subscribe to the call that ‘old blocks’ should not be in politics.
“Rather than that, I want to advocated that the electorate be allowed to decide with their vote instead,” he said.
In his speech, the Governor of Bauchi State, Muhammed Abubakar, who was represented by his Deputy, Nuhu Gidado, noted that Buhari’s fight against corruption has brought sanity in the polity.
He enjoined Nigerians to key into the ‘change begins with me’ programme, and value reorientation of Buhari.
In his welcome address, Director General of SDGA, Ifedi Okwenna, said the Summit aims to develop elite consensus on political and governance issues and promotes tolerance to alternative viewpoints and dialogue among stakeholders.
Okwenna added that it offers opportunity to dialogue on preferred options for constitutional development and leadership reengineering, taking cognisance of the current leadership recruitment pattern, political development paradigm and future of Nigerian democracy.
The highlight of the occasion was the recognition and presentation of the Icon Of Democracy (IOD) awards to Bishop Hassan Kukah, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Ahmed Joda, Justice Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi, Dennis Osadebay, and late Gani Fawehinmi.
The aforementioned were described as eminent Nigrerians, who have contributed exceptionally in the promotion of democracy and good governance in Nigeria.