The European Union (EU) on Saturday urged the President-elect, retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed the democracy dividends. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion, made the call at the Europe Day 2015 in Abuja.
Arrion explained that democracy meant nothing to the common man except it led to the improvement in their standards of living. “But democracy only makes meaning to the common man to the extent that it delivers good governance, creates opportunities and improves the quality of living. “Nigeria is rich, but Nigerians are poor.
The incoming administration will have a lot to do in this regard. “It must ensure that Nigeria’s massive population is galvanised into a formidable productive force that will generate wealth that is equally or rather equitably shared among all citizens,” he said. According to Arrion, as the new government comes on stream, the world will want to see a Nigeria with the basic freedoms that distinguish democratic societies.
“The government must ensure that the basic freedoms including economic rights and welfare are not the exclusive preserve of a privileged few. The EU envoy reminded Buhari of his promises before and after his election to pursue three priority objectives.
He said the first objective set by the President-elect was “to swiftly end the insurgency in the North East and restore peace and stability. According to him, the second is to eradicate corruption, while the third is to put policies in place to put Nigeria’s economy on a proper footing.
He said that these goals set for the incoming government match closely the European Union’s vision for the country. “Let me add a fourth objective that is very important for the European Union: regional integration,” he said. Arrion said the EU strongly believed that peace and stability, as well as the economic development of Nigeria were achievable.