What Does Democracy Mean To You?

Rahama Obadak
Marketing & Comms, Flexisaf

What does democracy mean to you?The freedom to elect whoever you deem fit?Or the freedom to say or do as you please?

What really is democracy?In Cambridge english dictionary, democracy is defined as;The belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of governmentbased on this belief, in which power is either held by electedrepresentatives or directly by the people themselves.Going by the above definition, allow me to highlight freedom and equality.If freedom means the right to have a voice and use it, how then do we get this "freedom"?According to George Washington, “Education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom”.

I agree. The only way to have a voice-and be able to use it, is to be empowered through a sound education.Yes, a sound education because then, you can express yourself and be well understood. Then, you can write and demand that it is read. Then and only then, can you be seen as a person with sense.According to reports from UNICEF,10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria. Astaggering 10.5 million children are denied the right to quality education! Where is the equality?Without a doubt, children are the future of every society. With over 10 million of them out of school, this means that 10.5 million (of Nigeria’s future) are without freedom, without a voice, and are almost treated as though they are invisible. What do we expect in future? What can we do?What can we do to change this? What is expected of us?In an interview on Arise news, Fiona Lovatt was asked “What does the world need to do about the situation in Nigeria?”Part of her reply was “........... the problems in Nigeria can only be fixed if Nigerians themselves want to fix it. If they own up to the fact there is a crisis and do something about it.”She also said ”.......Children are precious, I look at the children in my camp and I say which one of you will be the governors, which one of you would be the president?.........and they are brilliant children with a lot of progress in their learning.”If they are brilliant kids, why are they left to waste?Fiona concluded “Put something into education. Put a book in a hand, put a pencil in a hand, put a teacher in a classroom.”So, my fellow Nigerians, we need to wake up! Arise while the sun is still shining and take care of the crisis. Educate the children!Give them freedom, Embrace equality. Then define democracy!So, dear reader, what does democracy mean to you?Share your thoughts in the form below. I look forward to hearing from you!