Why votes must count ---Amaechi
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State says that the symbol of democracy is for the people to freely elect their leaders.
Governor Amaechi, who made the assertion during a Dinner to Mark the 2010 Democracy Day celebration in Port Harcourt, said the only way to have an elected democratic government is when votes count.
The governor differentiated between an elected government and a civilian government, describing an elected as one as that which emanate from the people through a genuine election while a civilian government is the one in which some rich men seat together and vote on behalf of the people as well as announce the government.
According to him, “a civilian government is usually not accountable to the people because he will not return to them to ask for their votes but the only way to have an elected government is when your votes count”.
He also argued that the strength of any democracy was in a virile democratic institution that consists of a strong Legislature, Executive and Judiciary which must be allowed to perform their constitutional responsibilities.
The Governor, who said one of the vows he made to God on assumption of office was to see how to touch the lives of the poor while strengthening the rich, noted that the only way to attend to the poor is to afford them the same opportunity that the rich men afford themselves by providing quality education”, emphasizing that the schools being built by the government are expected to run as free for the people.
He hinted that the present administration in the state was working hard to revive the morality instilled in the people from generations, emphasizing that the only way to achieve it was by building institutions that would bridge the gap such as Schools, Health Institutions and other infrastructural facilities.
Governor Amaechi, who highlighted some of the achievements of his administration, congratulated Nigerians and indeed Rivers people for the 11 years of uninterrupted democracy in the country.
Earlier in a welcome speech, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government Mr. Magnus Abe, said Rivers people have course to celebrate democracy for obvious reasons of the achievements of the present state government and the fact that they enjoyed 11 years of uninterrupted civilian government.