Ladies and gentlemen of the press, fellow citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
I stand before you today to address issues of utmost importance that pertain to the future of our nation’s governance and the integrity of leadership within it.
In the realm of politics, leadership, and active citizenship, we hold in our hands the power to shape the destiny of our beloved country. Our collective efforts are the cornerstone upon which we build a Nigeria that serves the interests of all its inhabitants.
Our nation transcends any one individual, and its global standing has far-reaching consequences for everyone within and associated with it. As leaders, our solemn duty is to advance our people’s welfare and uphold our nation’s principles.
My generation’s tireless struggle paved the way for the return of democracy and for the establishment of a government chosen by the people. Our electoral processes are enshrined in law and anchored in the constitution, which grants legitimacy to leadership and governance in Nigeria.
Our society trusts us as leaders to respect and safeguard these principles. This is the essence of our gathering here today.
Once again, we find ourselves called upon to defend and uphold the fundamental tenets of democratic governance in our nation. The constitution clearly outlines the prerequisites for those aspiring to the highest elective office in the land.
The institutions responsible for scrutinizing the authenticity of certificates presented by candidates for public office must discharge their duties expeditiously. Delays of months, or indeed decades, in this regard are detrimental to our democratic process.
Our journey has been arduous, but it was undertaken with great purpose. We must uphold the foundational principles of legitimate governance and protect our nation. Our nation’s reputation affects all Nigerians, wherever they may be.
I am a firm believer in democracy and a proud citizen of Nigeria. Once more, the matters at hand compel us to reaffirm our dedication to our nation and its constitution.
We now entrust these facts to the citizens and the leaders of the institutions responsible for interpreting our constitution. I extend my gratitude to the legal professionals in Nigeria and the United States who have diligently aided us in seeking clarity and definitive answers to questions that have plagued our institutions for nearly a quarter of a century.
I also wish to express my appreciation to the citizens of Nigeria and friends of our nation, both within and outside our borders, for their patience and support throughout our quest for truth.
In closing, I pay tribute to the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, whose dedication inspired us on this path of discovery. Today, we can honour his memory because what he initiated nearly 23 years ago has borne fruit. Gani’s vindication reaffirms the timeless adage that truth will prevail no matter how concealed.
The words of former American President Thomas Jefferson resonate with renewed significance: “If I had to choose between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.”
Journalists have consistently exemplified unwavering vigilance, exposing scandals like Watergate and scrutinizing the credentials of politicians when other branches of government falter. They play a pivotal role in our democracy, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
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