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Tambuwal to US: You are duty bound to nurture Nigeria’s democracy

Speaker of Nigeria's House of Reps Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Reps Aminu Tambuwal

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has urged the United States of America and other advanced nations to be more concerned about the development of democracy in Nigeria.

This, according to him, becomes imperative in order to deepen citizen participation in governance and enhance transparency in government activities at all levels.

Speaking yesterday when he delivered a paper on ‘Leadership in Developing Democracis’ at a roundtable organised by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, USA, Tambuwal said  the success of democracy anywhere is good for democracy everywhere, and that the failure of democracy anywhere gives a general black eye to democracy as system of governance.

A statement issued in Abuja by the Speaker’s media office quotes Tambuwal as saying that the burden of the consolidation of democracy cannot be carried by the emerging democracies alone.

“The developed democracies also have a role to play, in fact, they have a duty to ensure the success of the democracy experiment in emerging democracies. It is a duty they owe to the concept of democracy itself.”

According to him, considering the importance of leadership to the success of democracy, and the importance of democracy to the emancipation of the world’s peoples from the shackles of fear, oppression, poverty, disease, ignorance and corruption, the developed nations must continue to find ways to assist developing nations to select the right leaders.

“They must not be weary of investing in the continuing training and improvement of leadership capabilities in emerging democracies. No development assistance is more crucial for emerging democracies than assistance targeted at nurturing of their future leaders,” he said, adding that developed nations must resist the temptation to retreat into their isolationist cocoon and abandon the developing nations to find their own path around the maze of democracy.

Tambuwal said even though Nigeria is faced with challenges in virtually all aspects of her life, such challenges are not unique to the country alone. He said due to its peculiar position as the most populous nation in Africa housing diverse cultures,

challenges that are common to all developing nations are amplified and exaggerated in the case of Nigeria. “Thus while it may often appear as if Nigeria’s democracy has a unique set of problems, the truth is that it is the same problems that exist elsewhere, just that in Nigeria, our size, complexity and geo-political importance give our problems a much larger dimension,” he added.

“There is a paradox in the dynamics of leadership in that leadership can be both a problem and the solution to problems.  This is the case with leadership in developing democracies. On one hand, one of the problems confronting developing democracies is leadership. The wrong people have often assumed positions of leadership in these nations and instead of engendering the progress of democracy have served to retard the progress of democracy.  On the other hand, even the most well-intentioned leadership in developing democracies has to contend with several intractable problems that make effective leadership almost impossible.”

Tambuwal insisted that despite the challenges confronting Nigeria, with the right caliber of leadership, the country will get things right.

He debunked insinuation in some quarters that democracy cannot function in Nigeria, stating that our culture is very much compatible with democratic norms and values.

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