Nigerians Deserve A Better Life - Atiku
ABUJA, September 30, (THEWILL) - Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on elected leaders at all levels to move away from rhetoric and sugar-coated pronouncements to concrete action to make the lives of the citizens better.
In his 51st Independence anniversary message to Nigerians released by his media office in Abuja, the former Vice President regretted that more than 50 years of independence and 13 years of current democracy, the ordinary Nigerians are still struggling desperately to eke out a living, despite the country’s immense natural and human endowment.
According to Atiku, social volatility, occasioned by hunger, unemployment and despair are serious challenges to security, which elected leaders must treat as matters of national urgency or priority.
He said democracy is a social contract in which the voters expect service delivery from their leaders while discharging their own obligations to the state as citizens.
The former PDP presidential aspirant explained that the level of poverty is inconsistent with Nigeria’s huge resources and the huge expectations of better life that come with democratic governance.
In what seems to be a review of the challenges currently facing Nigeria, the former Vice President said for the economy to do well, the burden of sacrifice for economic recovery must be evenly shared by the leaders and the citizens.
“My heart bleeds at the picture of conspicuous consumption of the political elites while millions of voters who pushed the wheel of democracy continue to wallow in abject poverty. There is no pretence that corruption is undermining the national economy and consequently its capacity to make positive impact on the average citizen.
“Leaders must demonstrate courage and sincerity in confronting corruption. Half-hearted and selective fight against corruption in the past had badly slowed down the momentum of the crusade and the current rulers should learn a useful lesson from that,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President noted that democracy is a vehicle for honest and selfless service to the people. He therefore, advised that anyone who perceives democracy as a gravy train for self-enrichment has no business seeking elective office.
Quoting the Chinese philosopher Confucius, Atiku said, “in a country well-governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of but, in a nation badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed.”