Greetings to all the wonderful people of Rivers State and welcome to another episode of Rivethics on Radio, our character-building weekend show. Please remember that democracy is only a system. Humans are to make it work. This episode is in commemoration of the United Nations’ International Day of Democracy.
The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.
The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.
The link between democracy and human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
Democracy, and democratic governance in particular, means that people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, promoted and fulfilled, allowing them to live with dignity. People have a say in decisions that affect their lives and can hold decision-makers to account, based on inclusive and fair rules, institutions and practices that govern social interactions. Women are equal partners with men in private and public spheres of life and decision-making, and all people are free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, class, gender or any other attribute.
Democratic governance feeds into economic and social policies that are responsive to people’s needs and aspirations. Such policies aim at eradicating poverty and expanding the choices that people have in their lives, as well as respecting the needs of future generations. In essence, therefore, democratic governance is the process of creating and sustaining an environment for inclusive and responsive political processes.
As we listen to our guest speaker, Mrs. Boma Toby, Legal practitioner and Law Lecturer at the Rivers State University, let us understand and practice democracy at family and community levels as a set of values and principles that should be followed for greater participation, equality, security and human development.
Our progressive Rivers people, please remember to let your manners speak for you always.
God bless and keep you and your families and God bless Rivers State.
From Her Excellency,
Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike,
The Wife of His Excellency,
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike CON. GSSRS. POS (Africa
You can also listen to and download the Pidgin English version of this Episode below