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Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN’s Reflections on Progress, Challenges, and Hope on Democracy Day

Date:

Today, we celebrate our democracy, not because it is perfect nor has it fulfilled our yearnings and aspirations as a people. We celebrate despite the current alarming level of hardship that is in the land, and not unmindful the gloomy scenarios, from the ongoing impasse between government and labor unions, and the unabated insecurity in the country. These problems are as real as they are disturbing to a point of justifiable cynicism.

Yet we celebrate, knowing that democracy is not a destination but a process, and for the first time in our 64 years of collective existence as a nation, we have enjoyed the first 25 unbroken years of democracy.

In these past 25 years, despite the several challenges that confront us, we do have a number of wins, including the successful transfer of power between person and parties without bloodshed. We have managed to avoid any civil wars despite the evil projections and mechanizations of our colonial oppres-sors. We are even beginning to revamp and rebuild our decaying infrastruc-ture, albeit at a slow pace.

It is for these very reasons and many more that I believe it is appropriate to give ourselves warm embraces and congratulate ourselves on our journey so far as Nigerians.

As Nigerian lawyers, we occupy a prime place in our nation’s march towards its rightful place amongst the committee of nations. We have a preeminent role in awaking the sleeping giant of Africa. By standing up for the rule of law, defending human rights, and advocating for justice, equity and fairness in and outside of courtrooms, we play an inestimable role in the consolidation of our democracy and our growth as a nation.

Let us continue to work together to strengthen our democracy and ensure equal access to justice for all. By leveraging our collective expertise, dedica-tion, and passion for justice, we can contribute to a more just and equitable society. As we celebrate Democracy Day, let us renew our commitment to these ideals and strive to make a positive impact on our nation.

Happy Democracy Day!

Best regards,

Mazi Afam Josiah Osigwe, SAN

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