Your Excellency, President Joe Biden
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Governments,
Heads of Multilateral Organisations,
Business leaders and Civil Society Groups,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to begin by expressing my thanks to President Joe BIDEN, and the government and people of the United States for hosting this Summit to review the state of democracy today, around the world.
The Summit comes at a time when democratic institutions around the world are facing several challenges. This event will help promote a positive agenda for democratic renewal by focusing on some of the major challenges faced by democracies today. It is hoped that through our collective action, we can safeguard democratic values and principles.
The devastating impact of the Covid pandemic which has made it impossible to convene this meeting face to face has taken a heavy toll on economies, health and democratic processes around the world. Nevertheless, we have witnessed the resilience of democratic institutions in many countries that have held free, fair and transparent democratic elections under very challenging conditions. .
As you are aware, democracy has remained the most popular and universally recognised way of governance thus far. It is one governance system that guarantees freedom of speech, rule of law, respect for human rights and inclusiveness in governance. It also promotes social justice, economic and social development and national and global peace.
However, in spite of these laudable qualities, more is required from us as members of democratic societies, particularly in ensuring that democratic institutions and processes are strengthened, particularly during this period of a global pandemic which has threatened social cohesion in most democracies. We, therefore, must remain resolute and enhance cooperation, so that together, we build back better democratic institutions and sustainable democratic values.
I am proud to state that Nigeria has had over two decades of uninterrupted democratic governance and has unequivocally remained committed to upholding the core values and principles of democracy. Since assuming office in 2015, we have been able to introduce mechanisms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. We have strengthened our key anti-corruption agencies in collaboration with international partners and have undertaken several anti-corruption measures and initiatives.
However, despite our democratic achievements, Nigeria continues to face the challenge of insecurity which poses a threat to our democracy. We therefore call on global partners to support our efforts in tackling insurgency and terrorism.
As we countdown to our next general elections in 2023, we remain committed to putting in place and strengthening all necessary mechanisms to ensure that Nigeria will not only record another peaceful transfer of power to an elected democratic government, but will also ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Your Excellencies, Nigeria will continue to actively support the democractization processes in our region west Africa and the African continent at large. But regrettably, our democratic gains of the past decades are under threats of unconstitutional takeover of power. This unwholsome trend, sometimes in reaction to unilateral amendments of constitutions by some leaders, must not be tolerated by the international community. Nigeria fully supports the efforts by ECOWAS to address this growing challenge and appreciates the support of both the African Union and the United Nations.
I will conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s enduring commitment to upholding, promoting and protecting democratic values and principles and strengthening the institutions that underpin a resilient democratic society.
I thank you.