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Democracy Day: Tinubu Pledges Massive Investment in Infrastructure, Education, & Healthcare

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President Bola Tinubu has acknowledged the hardship Nigerians are facing in the aftermath of the removal of petrol subsidy.

In his first Democracy Day broadcast, Tinubu said his administration will “reward” their sacrifices with “massive investment” in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, and healthcare.

“I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements,” President Tinubu said Monday morning.

“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country.

“For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives,” he added.

President Tinubu hailed the 12 June 1993 presidential election winner, Moshood Abiola, whom he described as the symbol of democracy.

“We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled.

“He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defense of the ideals of democracy as symbolized in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President.

“There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power.

“To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no. He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.”

The president also paid tribute to other persons he called “heroes of democracy” such as MKO Abiola’s wife, the late Kudirat Abiola, the late Pa Alfred Rewane, and the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua.

He described the February presidential and National Assembly elections and the March governorship and state assembly elections as a true testament to Nigeria’s democratic journey, adding that the current legal contestations of the results are the “beauty of democracy.”

“That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land,” he said.

“It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed.

“But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections,” he added.

“Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man,” he continued.

The president said his administration will not condone conflicting and illegal orders that undermine Nigeria’s democracy while describing the bill he signed into law on 8 June for the harmonization of judicial officers' retirement age as one of many policy reforms to come.

“It is about (the) rule of law and (a) vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.

“The recent harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started.”

President Tinubu’s Monday speech was broadcast on major television, radio, and online channels at 7 am local time.

The president is expected to inspect a military parade at the State House foyer at 10 am.


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