Nigerian Democracy Day 2023

Jun 12, 2023 | Press Releases



June 12 holds significant historical importance in Nigeria’s march to true nationhood, marking the day when the nation’s democracy took a significant leap forward. It was a watershed moment that was meant to firmly position the country among the leading lights of the world’s beacons of free will, before it was unfortunately truncated by the ruling junta of the time. That annulment of the entire nation’s collective resolve to water the tree of liberty via electoral franchise as represented in the ballot was a setback of monumental proportions.

On the 30th anniversary of that historic event in Nigeria,  the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) felicitates with all Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria on this Democracy Day 2023. We join the citizenry in reflecting on the progress made towards the sustenance of democratic governance, and hereby restate our commitment to upholding the principles of justice, equality, and transparency that should form the foundation of our nation’s democracy. 

This year’s Democracy Day serves as an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made by individuals and groups who fought for democratic ideals, and to reinvigorate the collective commitment towards building a stronger and more inclusive democratic society.

As a group that actively participated in the enthronement of the democracy we currently enjoy, we are unwavering in our dedication to promote justice, fairness, and the rule of law. We hereby commend the Nigerians for their rare resilience in the face of numerous challenges. We acknowledge the progress made in strengthening democratic institutions, upholding human rights, and fostering peaceful coexistence, even as we remain conscious of ongoing challenges that require collective action and sustained civic engagement. We remain resolute in our pursuit of a just and egalitarian society, where every citizen enjoys the full benefits of democracy without let or hindrance. 

The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), recognizes the unfortunate events and bitter divisions that pockmarked the recent general elections in the country. We acknowledge that the political landscape was marred by heated rhetoric, polarisation, bigotry and at times, violence and deaths. As a responsible and progressive organisation, we firmly believe that the path to a stronger and more vibrant democracy lies in fostering unity and healing wounds inflicted during the electoral process.

The exercise of voting is a fundamental right, and it is crucial that the voices of Nigerians  are heard and their choices respected. The aftermath of the elections has witnessed a surge in election petitions, reflecting concerns and grievances regarding the integrity of the electoral process. We restate our earlier position on the constitutional rights of aggrieved candidates and parties to take peaceful recourse to the election petition courts. We firmly believe that the judiciary has a pivotal role in upholding the principles of fairness, impartiality, and due process. It is imperative, therefore, that the courts diligently and expeditiously handle election petitions, ensuring that justice is served, and the will of the people is respected. We urge all relevant stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, candidates, and the judiciary, to maintain the highest standards of integrity and transparency in addressing election disputes. It is essential that all parties involved are given a fair opportunity to present their cases, and that the judiciary’s decisions are guided by the most noble principles of law and the best interests of the nation. 

We call on the Nigerian citizenry to remain calm, peaceful, and law-abiding during this period. It is our collective responsibility to respect the rule of law and to ensure that our democratic institutions can function independently and effectively. We must remember that the strength of our democracy lies in our ability to address conflicts through legal channels and to uphold the tenets of justice and fairness.

As the country marks the 30th anniversary of June 12, we call on all Nigerians to continue to actively participate in the democratic process, and to not shirk their civic duty to hold public officials accountable, and advocate for transparency, good governance, and the protection of citizens’ rights. The nation is currently experiencing untold economic woes, compounded by unsustainable unemployment statistics among millions of its most productive age demographic, and mounting insecurity. At no time in recent or remote memory has the office of the active citizen been more important than at this time.

Furthermore, we emphasise the importance of inclusive political participation and urge political parties and organisations to promote gender equity and youth inclusion in decision-making processes. Empowering women and young people to participate actively in politics and governance is vital for the sustainable development and growth of our nation.

We remain committed to promoting peaceful dialogue, respect for human rights, and unity among all Nigerians, and we call on citizens to reject divisive rhetoric and embrace the principles of tolerance, understanding, and respect for diversity. To shape a Nigeria that reflects the hopes and aspirations of its people is a patriotic task that requires all hands on deck. It is an achievable task; one which, when completed, will engender a brighter future for all citizens, united in the pursuit of justice, equality, and progress.

Happy Democracy Day, Nigerians

Abiola Owoaje




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