By Aaron Ossai
Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh has said that that the prevailing erosion of democratic values and tenets completely negates the celebration of 2017 Democracy Day, noting that only the promotion of true democratic values will douse the tension in the land and resolve the national question.
Metuh, in a reflection on Democracy day posted on his facebook page on Monday lamented that the underlying values of democracy; the principle of separation of power, respect for the constitution and rule of law, protection of personal and political rights of citizens, freedom of association and speech, fair and free elections, and even equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities as guaranteed dividends of democracy have all been eroded in the country.
Stating that “even autocratic regimes, the antithesis of democracy, are often able to record the kind of benchmarks that it has become the fashion to enumerate on Democracy Day” Metuh stressed that “the focus of our Democracy Day celebrations ought therefore to be the level of subscription to and enforcement of the values on which true democracy is built rather than the brick-and-mortar achievements, real or imagined, of agencies and departments of the executive arm”.
He said from the social and political disorder being witnessed in the country, many of those currently entrusted with the reins of power have now discovered that “it is easier to sit on the sidelines, criticising and condemning, than to actually be in the arena, balancing diverse and conflicting interests, and managing still to forge unity, peace and progress on democratic principles”.
He therefore urged that this year’s democracy day celebration should serve engender a recommitment to the upholding of democratic ideals so that the citizens can enjoy “a country where their personal and political liberties are much better protected ……and where they are free, within the ambits of the law to hold opinions, ventilate their views and associate freely without any form of molestation..”