I’m Committed To Deepening Democracy – Tinubu Tells US Senators

I’m Committed To Deepening Democracy – Tinubu Tells US Senators

President Bola Tinubu  has said his administration is committed to deepening democracy by ensuring adherence to the rule of law and providing all Nigerians good governance, justice, and fairness.

He said that while democracy must be defended, it must also translate into tangibles such as quality healthcare, good education, food security, shelter, and overall economic prosperity for the people of Nigeria.

The President stated this on Wednesday at a meeting with a United States Congressional delegation, led by Senator Cory Booker, at the State House in Abuja.

He said Nigeria is a necessary partner for sustaining democracy in Africa and beyond, noting that it is the continent’s biggest economy and largest democracy.

The President stated that Nigeria is well-positioned to set the best continental example by delivering good governance to its people.

He said: “Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, had suffered leadership elephantiasis years back. I am determined to change that. Adhering to the principles of democracy and the rule of law is very important to us.

“I wonder how democracy will survive if we do not fight for it. I fought for this democracy. I risked my life for it. Military truncation of democracy is unacceptable. The power of our citizens is and must remain supreme.”

The Nigerian leader told the U.S. Congressional delegation that there is a need for the United States to evolve a more prudent and pragmatic partnership with Africa.

Tinubu added that the United States should consider upscaling critical development programmes to strengthen ties with the continent.

He said: “It is important for our partners to help strengthen democracy in Africa. Our developmental programmes need serious capital. We are not asking for freebies. All we are asking for is understanding. After the Second World War, Europe was impacted. America developed and executed the Marshall Plan to pull them back up. Today, Europe is standing firm and tall as a result. What about a Marshall plan for Africa?

How can we be categorized and thrown into IMF’s basket of trickle-down slices? We are blessed in Africa, but these are the same resources causing conflicts because of exploitation and a lack of alignment. The presence of the resources does not reflect in the living conditions of the people. We must not use yesterday’s methods to address today’s challenges. Nobody wants to risk their life to run away from Africa.

“America needs to look at the situation in Africa critically. What is happening in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger emanates from a helpless feeling people have that they are not being helped economically. They find that their former colonial masters are not letting go and are still seeking to exploit them. We have mineral resources. What technology can you bring to help turn that into economic prosperity? Can you put de-risking finance in place to incentivize John Deere to assist us

in massively mechanizing our food production processes? There is so much we can do in the advancement of education. See Africa as a necessary partner for the sustenance of democracy.

“We are capable and willing to lift our own people out of poverty.”

In his remarks, Senator Booker described President Tinubu as a visionary leade, whomadek tough but necessary decisions for the good of Nigerians.

You are a leader of particular character. You have the courage to do very difficult things, right at the beginning of your term. Something that many American leaders should look to; someone who believes so much in their people that they can make difficult decisions and know that their country is resilient and strong to endure so that it can emerge stronger on the other side,” he said.

The U.S. Senator noted that Nigeria and the United States are partners bound by shared values of democracy, rule of law, and commitment to peace and good governance.

He added: “I share my enthusiasm about deepening the partnership between Nigeria and the United States. We know in America that there is no greater or more important partner for the United States on the African continent than its biggest country, its biggest democracy, and its biggest economy.

“I am excited about the opportunity we have had to learn, to listen, to meet these extraordinary people in your community who share our common values of democracy, entrepreneurship, and commitment to peace and strong growth.

“We know the investments we make in this country in different sectors, and our partnership on security and counter-terrorism are not just for Nigeria’s benefit but for both of our countries’ benefit.

I can relate with what you are doing, Mr. President. I was the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, for years, and I know what I had to go through to reverse the fortunes of one of America’s most impoverished and troubled megacities. Several Newark Mayors before me fell on corruption charges.

“I had to restore hope and confidence. I had to beg investors to come in and believe in our city. We were persistent and we broke through. Newark is dramatically different today.

“I see so many similarities between the sustainable turnaround I led and the efforts you are making to transform Nigeria for the better. You have a partner in the United States.”

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