Nigeria won’t achieve perfect democracy, says US diplomat

By Samuel Bolaji

The Charge D’Affairs of the United States Mission in Nigeria, David Greene, has advised Nigeria to continue improving its democracy, warning, however, that Nigerians should not expect the country to attain perfection in pursuit of democracy.

The US diplomat spoke on Tuesday at the celebration of the United States 247th Independence Day anniversary held at the residence of the US Consul General in Lagos, Will Stevens, in Ikoyi, Lagos.

He said, “Democracy could be a rough and bumpy road, but it is a process.

“Nigeria, as a democracy with an elected and representative government, must continue working and trying to improve on its democracy.

“You’re never going to achieve perfection, but what you must do is to remain focused and continue working to improve the democratic process and the lives of the citizens.”

Speaking on US partnership with Nigeria, Greene said, “As President (Joe) Biden has said, elected leaders owe to their people to show that democracy can deliver for their needs, and the United States, I’m proud to say, is Nigeria’s partner in seeking to deliver.”

The Charge D’Affairs added, “Economic opportunity is only part of the solution (to the nation’s challenges). Citizens need security.

“In this area, too, the United States and Nigeria are working together closely, whether through robust military to military ties, police training, judicial cooperation…, the United States is partnering with Nigeria to bolster its security capabilities, to combat terrorism, to fight violent crime, to address human rights violations, and to end corruption.”

Speaking on the July 4 United States Independence Day anniversary, Greene stated that it was a delight to celebrate the anniversary in Nigeria this year.

“It’s when Americans in the United States and around the world get together to celebrate not just the birth of our nation, but the values and democratic practices and the right that we hold so dear,” he added.

In his remarks, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said his government was delighted that the 247th US independence anniversary celebration was held in the state.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, Sanwo-Olu said holding the event in Lagos after the one held earlier in Abuja was a testament to the importance of the state in Nigeria and to the world.

The governor added, “The United States and Nigeria share a long history of friendship marked by several milestones of cooperation in trade, education, health and security.

“We are proud to be partners in progress, working hand-in-hand to improve the lives of our citizens and contribute to a more prosperous and peaceful world.

“Our partnership is built on shared values and a commitment to democratic principles, human rights and sustainable development.”

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