Former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kassim Shettima has said that Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 created an atmosphere for freedom and opportunities.
Speaking as a Guest Speaker at the 17th Edition of the Daily Trust Dialogue held in Abuja with the theme “20 Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Strengths, Weaknesses and Opportunities” on Thursday, the Senator who doubles as the chairman, Senate committee on Interior, noted, however that despite the leadership the country has gone through , Nigeria’s 20 years of democracy has more weaknesses than strengths.
He listed some of these weaknesses to include selective adherence to the rule of law, poverty and insecurity and low women participation in politics.
Speaking on theme of the dialogue, Shettima said Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 created an atmosphere for freedom and opportunities.
Going down memory lane on activities that shaped the country’s democracy in the last 20 years, the Senator recalled that there have been positive sides of Nigeria’s democracy starting from landmark judgments that have ousted governors, senators and powerful politicians.
He added that in the last 20 years governors and powerful politicians have lost elections and this has happened because of democracy.
Recounting that in the last 20 years the country has had four presidents starting with Olusegun Obasanjo who instituted anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC to fight corruption, he praised the administration under late President Umar Yar’Adua for the adherence to rule of law and respect for court judgements.
Describing Goodluck Jonathan as a humble and honest leader who saved the country’s democracy by admitting defeat, the Senator said the country under Buhari has witnessed massive road and rail works as well as agriculture all of which have set the country on positive growth trajectory.