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Spate of military coup in W/Africa calls for reflection on democratic progress, institutions, says Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday in Abeokuta said the recent spate of military interventions across our continent calls for a moment of reflection on our democratic progress and institutions, noting that a democratic government guarantees security and prosperity for its people.
According to Osinbajo, “the progress of our democracies on this continent must be pursued in terms of the struggle to address the basic socio-economic problems which daily afflict our people.”

Osinbajo stated this in a keynote address he delivered at a High-level Dialogue on West Africa themed “Rising to the Challenge of Consolidating Democratic Governance.”

The dialogue held in Abeokuta was organised by the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), which has former President Olusegun Obasanjo as Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

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The Vice President said where social and economic rights are unsecured, people are unable to fully maximize their civil and political rights.

“We cannot secure the Africa we want by turning back the hands of the democratic clock. We have walked these thorny roads before.

“We have many decades worth of bitter experience and the unimpeachable lesson of our history is that despotism cannot guarantee security and prosperity,” Osinbajo said.

He said there is a need for us to strengthen our institutions, deliver on socio-economic development & deepen our commitment to building successful democratic states by embracing systems that provide access to qualitative education to enhance freedom of expression, thought & conscience.

“We must therefore be forward-thinking, employing democracy as a tool to address the basic problems of ill-health, malnutrition and illiteracy, among others. Only then can we reap the true dividends of democracy,” the VP said.

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