Democracy: Not Yet Uhuru – Imoke
As the country marks 13 years of unbroken democracy, the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Senator Liyel Imoke says despite the remarkable success recorded within this period especially in the state, there is still a long way to go.
The Governor, who stated this in his statewide broadcast to mark the democracy day said that as the country takes stock of the gains of embracing democracy, there was the need to celebrate the success so far recorded and identify the challenges that made the people stronger, united and more committed to the ideals and tenets of democracy.
In his words, “however, we must do so with humility, knowing that despite the progress we have made, we still have a long way to go. Some of the inherent values of democracy include freedom of expression, association and choice of leaders. These tenets have been in generous display in recent times in our country.”
The Governor stated that the conduct of the election that brought him into office for second term was typically without violence and adjudged by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a model for the entire country, adding that it showed how much progress the state had made in the march towards the enthronement of true democracy as the only option for our socio-economic development.
According to him, “Our performance in this administration demonstrates our firm belief that government should be there for those who need government the most. This is a pivotal part of the philosophy which underpins this administration and exemplifies the true essence of democracy.
“In a thriving democracy such as ours, the real beneficiaries are the electorate. As a state, we have endured several challenges to our democracy over the past 13 years. The process of transformation has been arduous and steep but we have persevered and we are succeeding.
“Despite the unexpected and sudden shortfall in our revenue profile brought about by geo-political re-alignments and the various electoral interpretations to this administration, we have stayed the course of growth and development for the benefit of our people.
Through deliberate and conscientious planning, our state has recorded significant achievements right across the sectors. Our rural communities have been provided with electricity, with several kilometres of roads now linking communities to markets, newly renovated schools, healthcare facilities and other community amenities.
“We have also expanded the supply of potable water and have increased participation in our social welfare intervention programmes, HOPE and COMFORT. All of these constitute an appreciable and considerable improvement in the standard of living and quality of life of the average Cross Riverian,” Imoke contended.