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Promoting Good Governance.

CDD to hold symposium as Nigeria celebrates 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule 

IN celebrating two decades of Nigeria’s return to civil rule, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a nonprofit organisation, is organising a symposium to reflect on how far the country has come.

The one-day event will be held in Abuja on Tuesday, June 11, the Centre stated in a press release signed by its director, Idayat Hassan.

It will be chaired by Adebayo Olukoshi, professor and director of Africa and West Asia office of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

A keynote address, titled “A Reflection on the 20 Years of Democracy in Nigeria”, is scheduled to be delivered by Mahmud Jega, deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Trust Newspaper.

The panellists invited to discuss the topic How Best to Sustain Democratic Rule include Hafsat Abiola-Costello, president of the Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative; Ayisha Osori, executive director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA); Onyinye Ough,  executive director of Step Up Nigeria; and Julius Ihonvbere, professor and former special adviser to former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Other guests include the Aminu Tambuwal and Kayode Fayemi, governors of Sokoto and Ekiti states respectively.

According to the release, the event also presents an opportunity for CDD to celebrate the 10th and 2nd anniversaries of the death of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem and Abubakar Momoh, two of its founding fathers.

“This year, 2019, marks the twentieth anniversary of Nigeria’s return to civilian rule and the country’s longest uninterrupted run on democracy since independence. This is a milestone for Nigeria, considering her 58 years of independence have only experienced democracy between 1960-1966, 1979-1983 and proudly now 1999-2019,” Hassan said.

“Between 1999-2019, the country has conducted six consecutive elections with some forms of improvement in election administration. The twenty years have witnessed an increase in the numbers of political parties, a rise of startups and civic techs, youth demography, opening civic space, some forms of infrastructure development, separation of powers and human rights.

“However, the twenty years have not been without challenges; they include the ethnicisation of politics, ethno-religious conflicts, corruption, poverty, insecurity, shrinking democratic space, booming population, amongst others.

“The questions on the mind of Nigerians at the moment is mostly how do we consolidate democracy such that the delivery of public goods and services shall be a right for all citizens and not a privilege. What practical steps do we take to sustain a longer run of democracy with all the variables suggesting otherwise and how do we collectively as a nation achieve a Nigeria we want?”

The CDD was registered in Nigeria in 1999 as a research, advocacy and capacity building organisation with focus on policy advocacy, democratic governance, human security, people-centred development, and human rights.

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