I will celebrate democracy
When the old widow in the remote village can go to the polling unit, cast her vote and rest assured that her vote will count and be counted; when our elections are not to the highest bidder and when money play less role in our political process.

I will celebrate democracy
When our representatives are sensitive to our yearnings, when leaders are exemplary in speech and conduct and our public institutions are strong and governments are accountable; when freedom and liberties of citizens are not negotiated nor infringed on but guaranteed.

I will celebrate democracy
When the rich and the poor access the same health facilities and public schools are as functional as the private institutions; when all cases before the courts receive the same level of attention irrespective of the personalities involved.

I will celebrate democracy
When the salaries of teachers and doctors are as attractive as those of senators and governors; when anyone can be appointed into any position irrespective of ethnic and religious background so long as the one is qualified for the job.

I will celebrate democracy
When patriots are given laurels and corrupt and violent people are given the backseat; when our leadership recruitment process favours popular will over the wishes of a privileged few.

I will celebrate democracy
When Adamu and Okeke are treated equally on the basis of the law and when their actions are guided by the laws of the land; when all the sections of our country are accorded equal status in the distribution of our commonwealth.

I will celebrate democracy
When the provision of basic amenities are seen as rights and not privileges of citizens; when the directive principles of state policy as contained in the constitution become justiciable.

For now, let me use this occasion to commend the heroes past who fought hard to set us on this journey and to enact the democratic ideals we aspire to. They didn’t labour in vain. I also felicitate with today’s political actors who are working hard to actuate the dreams of our founders. It’s not all gloom; we’ve achieved some milestones and our spirit is high. So let’s keep hope alive, for it’s morning yet on creation day.

Chike Onwe, Ph.D

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