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US Presidential Inauguration: Group Urges African Institutions To Learn From US Resilience

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..congratulates Joe Biden,Kamala Harris

Maureen Okpe

Following the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States,the Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) is advocating and hoping that leaders of institutions critical to the success of democracy in Nigeria as well as other parts of Africa would pick up valuable lessons from the recent experience in the United States.

According to the group, in a statement issued by the Executive Director Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, the American judiciary stood it’s ground in carrying out the duties of upholding the fundamental system of democracy, despite the drama and defending the votes of the electorate.

Zikirullahi, in the wake of this, calls on individuals and institutions in Nigeria as well as those in other parts of the globe still struggling to institute real democracy to pick the valuable lessons from the example of how US democracy triumphed, despite the clear and present dangers it was faced with.

Stating that “worthy of note is the judiciary, which in spite of pressure from desperate politicians remained firm and resolute in defending the supremacy of the votes of the electorate. As President Biden has long promised, ‘…we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.’

“Despite the many untoward developments in the last four years of the Donald Trump Presidency, which called to question the fate of democracy in the United States, it is heartwarming that peace-loving Americans can finally turn the page on what could be considered as one of the darkest points in their history.

“CHRICED salutes all the critical US national institutions, which showcased the fact that democracy is indeed the ‘government of the people, for the people and by the people.’

The Executive Director reiterated that US could achieve this feat by rising on several occasions to preserve the sanctity of the democratic process despite the onslaught of desperate political actors who engaged in peddling misinformation and the so-called alternative facts.

“CHRICED is also of the view that the racially-motivated tension, the incitement of insurrection, the storming of the Capitol building by right wing extremists and the other forms of violent conduct which trailed the United States 2020 elections, and beclouded the build up to the inauguration, will be repeatedly referenced by sit tight leaders and anti-democratic forces on the African continent.

“Although, the United States is not perfect as a country, its stated ideals of democratic decision making, rule of law, respect for human rights, and entrenchment of social justice, confer on it the exemplary status of the ‘shining city upon a hill.’

“Even with all its flaws, the ideals which the United States has committed itself to promote across the world, have inspired pro-democracy struggles in other parts of the world, especially in Africa. As a matter of fact, the United States remains the reference point to which many oppressed people in the world look for encouragement and inspiration.

CHRICED also calls on the Biden-Harris administration to strategically engage with Africa to salvage faith in democracy, respect for human rights, free speech, and the rule of law. Adding that as Presidential candidate, Biden weighed in on the issue of killings and abuse of the rights of #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria. With the weight and the influence of the US Presidency, the Center believes that there is a lot more that the Biden-Harris administration can do to pressure the authorities in Nigeria and other African countries to ensure they respect, promote and protect the rights of all citizens.

The group heartily felicitates with President Joe Biden and Vice President, Kamala Harris,as the historic character of the Biden-Harris administration will be found in the fact that for the first time, a woman has been elected, and sworn in as Vice President of the bastion of world democracy.

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