The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has charged the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and members of civil society organisations to live up to the task of promoting democracy as the country prepares for the 2023 general elections.
Leonard, who spoke on Thursday at a town hall meeting titled, “Agenda Setting for Sustainable Democratic Culture,’’ organised by the NGE, with support from the US Embassy in Nigeria, also said Nigeria’s commitment to democracy and opposition to authoritarianism remained sound.
“Your leaders have been consistent in calling for the respect of presidential term limits, for example, and they have been quick to condemn military coups in West Africa and the rest of the continent,” she said.
She, however, said that beyond public pledges supporting freedom and democracy, the editors and members of the civil society groups had a responsibility to delve deeper into the underlying factors that erode faith in democracy.
Tasking editors on their professional duty, Leonard explained that access to accurate and unbiased information was critical to any democracy in the world.
She urged editors to serve as catalysts to build a democracy that is accountable to its people, saying that when the citizens believe in democracy, good governance, and elections are restored, invariably; they would want to be a part of that system and would defend it.