From Fred Itua, Abuja

Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega; former Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Nuhu Yaqub; and former Chief of Army Staff, Major General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), will be among the speakers at the 2023 Democracy Day lecture, organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

The event is scheduled to take place next. The annual lecture, organised by NILDS, aims to foster an in-depth discussion among key stakeholders and experts to reflect on Nigeria’s democracy and the state of the nation.

Prof Nuhu Yaqub will serve as the chairperson of the lecture, which has the theme “Democracy and the State of the Nation: towards agenda setting for the new administration.” The session will be moderated by Jega, the former Chairman of INEC.

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Other notable participants in the discussion include Dambazau, Prof Okey Ibeanu, Prof Rotimi Suberu, Prof Anthonia T Simbine, Prof Mike Kwanashie, AB Mahmoud, SAN, and Barrister Ebere Ifendu.

The event is expected to be graced by several high-profile political and business leaders, including the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and members of the National Assembly.

Speaking about the significance of the lecture, the Director General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, emphasised the deep divisions among Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines that were evident during the 2023 general elections.

He highlighted the potential threats posed by ethnic and religious politics to the consolidation of democracy, citing examples such as the Rwanda Genocide and the war in Burundi, which resulted in extensive human casualties.