Governor Godwin Obaseki, of Edo State has tasked global leaders and other players in the democratic space to translate democracy to tangible pro-people policies and programmes that will lift the poor masses from poverty.
Obaseki threw the challenge at international and domestic political actors on Friday, as the world commemorates the International Day of Democracy.
According to the governor, “the essence of democracy and all its support institutions must be to protect the weak, distribute resources and wealth equitably, and mobilise every stratum of society to participate in the decisions that mould our lives.”
He stressed that “until a strong nexus between democracy and the good of the masses is established, democracy as a political theory or philosophy will remain an elite past time.”
Obaseki said the choice of this year’s theme: “Democracy and Conflict Prevention,” was timely, considering the developments across the globe.
Obaseki recommended that: “A proactive approach that can scientifically pre-empt conflict from feelings of discontent, displeasure and prompt resolution of the issues, have proven to be the best way to conflict management, than a reactive approach that waits for conflicts to occur before attending to them.”
He explained that “conflicts do not just happen, irrespective of the part of world we find them. Leaders must be alive to expressions of disaffection even from the worst critics, as democracy is about people’s participation in conversations that will ultimately enrich governance.”
He emphasised that global peace is possible, if world leaders would do more in connecting with the electorates.
“An international day of democracy is a day for all those elected on the platform of democracy to reflect on how good we are doing in implementing the mandate given to us by the electorates. It is a day to account for the trust and faith the people have invested in us,” he added.”