June 12: 27 years after eminent Nigerians unveils new perspectives
Exactly 27 years after the annulment of June 12 1993 election, with which Nigerians unanimously signalled their preference for late Moshood Olawale Kashimawo Abiola as President via their willful votes, divergent views still trails the attainment of the ideals of the day held so dear by eminent Nigerians.
While some takes solace in the new developments,where the deserved honour was posthumously bestowed on the legitimate winner of the said election others have contrary views that it is not yet uhuru.
Blazing the trail,Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, described June 12 1993 annulled election as the most defining moment in Nigeria’s history,saying the struggle to free Nigerians from the shackles of bondage will continue until the country is restructured into federating units.
In his words “When the federating units are allowed to develop at their own pace, there will be mutual benefits and progress. The federating states will be geared towards achieving the best for the people at the grassroots.
This is possible when there is healthy competitions among the federating units. The issue of security and state police would be taken care of without fair or favour. That is how it is in other climes where democracy thrives”
“It is good that our democracy is evolving, but sadly, it is not yet Uhuru because this is not the kind of democracy we fought for during the June 12 struggle. It is far different from what we are seeing now”.
“The struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate given freely to the late MKO Abiola in a free and fair election then was a long, hard battle to survive the military onslaughts”
“Those of us that are alive today still remember those moments with a lot of regrets, and surprises. We think of how we are able to survive those trying periods. The journey for this democracy has been a tourtous journey.
Today, our democracy is at best, one step forward and five steps backward. But in all, we thank God that we are still alive to tell the story”.
“We got it wrong right from the outset. We got it wrong with leadership.Nigeria has been crippled by bad leadership.
This has always been our problem. All our leaders have lost touch with the people at the grassroots, that is why we must continue to press for justice until we get the best for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Aare Adams, added that the lesson of June 12 election is, indeed, for a lifetime for everybody, stressing that no matter how long the long arm of lies persist, truth will one day prevails.
“It takes 27 years after the brutal annulment of the freest and fairest election for the Federal Government to honour and recognize the late MKO Abiola and several Nigerians that paid the supreme price”, he said
In his contribution on the importance of the date in history,the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2 at the Lagos Assembly, Hon Tunde Braimoh who also chairs the house committee on Information,security and strategy, notes that the day signals a people poised for better lives not minding the visible odds,while urging Nigerians to hold firm to the ideals of June 12 to evolve a better Nigeria.
“As we celebrate June 12 in Nigeria, I want to congratulate all Nigerians for being opportune to witness another democracy day.
“The June 12 is now an evolutionary phenomenon, it started as a struggle,June 12 was a date significant in our history,June 12 as a date stands for so many things;it stands for people’s courage to even face the gun and resist all morbid fears,to maintain their ground and to express their preference for the kind of leadership that they truly deserve or desire.
“So my thought on June 12 is that the legislature is the bedrock of democracy because without a set of laws and rules or regulations that are binding on the people,government cannot be predictable ,any government not based on the rule of law will probably be based on authoritarianism or totalitarianism or any other dictatorial tendencies.
“So June 12 stands for the enthronement of the rule of law which the legislature is a bedrock. So the legislature of Nigeria has fared so well,had been able to organise or order the society in such a way that reflects our sociocultural background and the yearnings and aspirations, of course the dynamics of it has allowed us to burrow some of the culture of the world best practices and put them together to order Nigeria society to be what it is today,so we are making progress when it comes to the legislative activities of Nigeria vis a vis the principles of June 12.
He noted that the process is a continuous one that need to mature more to sustain the ideals of June 12 adding Nigeria has not fared badly.
“I will say it is a continuous process, first we can say that June 12 as a phenomenon and evolution has made a mark on the Nigerian polity because this is the first we would have an uninterrupted civilian rule for 21 years the longest so far,the first was for six years; 1960 to 1966 and the other experiment was from 1979 to 1984 January and some other diarchy, a form of make shift arrangement that was put in place early 90’s which was truncated again in 1993 and that is about that.
“So this is the longest 21 years uninterrupted, so this is one of the successes,one of the hallmarks of June 12, like I told you earlier the ideals of transparency, the ideal of unity,the ideal of saying no bigotry to ethnocentrism,nepotism we have not really achieved all of that to be honest and frank with you because these are what June 12 stands for.
“We can not actually say we have achieved all of that but then the truth is that we are not doing badly too and we are on course with time it could only get better,as events unfolds as the days go by and years runs by we are getting more and more entrenched in the principles of democracy and the teachings or lessons we have learnt from the June 12 debacle.
“June 12 is a kind of new beginning in the sociopolitical history of Nigeria,it is a new discovery of time that nobody even thought could come because nobody expected,it was a kind of divine phenomenon whereby those at the helms of affairs then had divine instruction to organise the political party in such a way and to define the structure and electoral process in such a way that it really disallowed or discouraged nepotism,ethnicity, religious bigotry and all those ills that are the banes of Nigeria polity,then than even now were discouraged at that time to the barest minimum.
“We have seen instances of that,the exemplification of that being how Bashorun Abiola won election, in places where one would have thought were impossible also the transparent nature of the election is an instruction and so many other peculiarities,the idiosyncrasies of June 12 phenomenon but we have not really achieved those ideals.
“They have not been perpetuated,they have not been propagated,they have not been made to survive the years they’ve been subjected to haphazard or predilection of whoever is the ruler at a particular time,so we don’t have a standard yet, we don’t have the institutionalization of these principles yet but we are not doing very badly now.
“The current President Mohammadu Buhari has really advanced in a very great quantum of leap frogs,on the June 12 advancement by even the courage to recognise the late Chief Abiola with the highest national honour which presupposes that he is being recognized as an elected president of the country.
“Because the honour given to him is only reserved for those who had the privilege and opportunity to govern Nigeria.
“The GCFR title given to Bashorun Abiola is a rare honour which is not commonplace. Also to have declared that June12 as the real democracy day of Nigeria is an acknowledgement of the fact that we have June12 within our consciousness as a day,as a phenomenon, as one of the major stop gaps in the annals of history of Nigeria.
“A highly important epoch making event which cannot be wished away or forgotten forever in the annals of Nigeria.
“So while we are not there yet it is not Uhuru yet,we are not in Eldorado yet but definitely we are making advancement especially under Mohammadu Buhari; the tenets of democracy are being entrenched and if you don’t know the causes of our problems it is very difficult to proffer solutions to that effect.
“So the President recognizes most of our problems and the way he is going about proffering solutions to the effect,one can say he is an upwardly mobile statesman someone who is result oriented practical and pragmatic and with a specific design and desire to succeed and make a mark,so I congratulate Nigerians in the celebration of June 12 It may not be the way we want it but certainly we are not doing badly.
Hon Folajinmi Mohammed who represents Ikeja constituency I simple notes that lauded the last year declaration of June 12 as democracy day,stating that the future is bright for Nigeria.
“June 12 is worth the Celebration because of late Bashorun MKO Abiola,now democracy day was only celebrated as announced by President Mohammadu Buhari who said that the June 12 would now be the new democracy day.
So it is a laudable achievement for us, more so because the President has seen it as a genuine reason for us to be celebrating democracy due to the unfortunate events that have happened in time past.
So for us it is a good time to celebrate and a reminder that Nigerians as a whole is going towards a very good future if I make say, because without democracy then nothing else will be possible.
The National Publicity Secretary of Advance Democratic Party ADP,Prince Adeoye Adelaja faults the style of governance of the country noting that it may likely lead it back to the woods if drastic measures are not taking.
“June 12, has become a symbolic date in the life of our nation, and the reasons, this date was set aside as a democracy day, not only to celebrate the great sacrifices by our hero pass, who fought tirelessly for the return of democracy, some are still alive, while some have transcended to the great beyond, their memories must live on, and the only way to make their efforts count, is when all what they struggled for becomes reality.
“June 12, was a struggle for the emancipation of our country, from brutal dictators, and those with power, who never wanted oppositions. Those who made our return to democracy possible must always be celebrated through the enhancement of our Democratic space.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a matter of federal legislation, must be able to conduct free and fair elections, that will be technologically driven, as the world system is gradually changing. There must be seamless voting, which must include e-voting, and work on making snatching of ballot boxes useless, with the use of e-screening and transmission of results from polling units to central server. “
The party also charged President Buhari to swing to action as a former military general, to end all the needless killings by insurgents and bandits across Nigeria.
“Nigerians voted for the President as a former military major general, on the strength that within few months of his ascension to power, he would be able to crush every security threats in the country, but it is not too late to make it up to Nigerians in this regard.
“The rising spate of external borrowing by the government, is not too good, when the sources of repayment of these humongous loans are not certain, not even at a time the country is relying on petro-dollar, but times are fast changing, the effect of COVID-19 ravaging the entire globe should be a factor to be considered by the FG when these loans are being borrowed.
“We call on all Nigerians to keep hope alive, as there will always be a way out,we are urging them to remain resolute in their quest for a better country regardless of the present situation.” Said Adeoye .
Hon. Bisi Yusuff who represents Alimosho constituency 1 at the Lagos Assembly appreciated the scenario playing out which gives credence to previous struggle for a better nation,asserting the uniqueness of June 12.
“We thank God for the live of President Mohammadu Buhari for that very singular act of making June 12 the democracy day,though people have been clamouring over May 29th but it is not as prolific when compared with June 12, because June 12 is the sacrificial lamb for this democracy, and as a matter of fact for that man to recognise it,it is a plus for him even if that is the only one that he can do it is something,but he not only recognized June 12 alone, he also accorded the progenitor of June 12 recognition and those who are associated with June 12, I thank him for that.
“For some of us who are living and we fought seriously for that very June 12, we cannot but give him that commendation for what he has done. Even where those that were from our part of the country here; Southwest when they were on the throne they could not because of what I will call jealousy,parochial and unrefined politics and lack of vision and mission.
Hon. Rauf Age Sulaimon,the Lagos state house of Assembly member representing Amueo Odofin constituency 2 was quick to note that the popularity of June 12 in history was original and unprecedented.
“You see that is what we have been clamouring for because May 29th is just like an ordinary day picked to swear in new government how does that warrant been called a democracy day?
” It is just a mere transition day in the history of Nigeria though we have had series of events issues concerning politics,politicking and the rest of them but the one we can say which attracted international community, the civil society,the Campaign for Democracy,multinational organisations in fact the stakeholders that you can mention.
” June 12 is a day that was almost like a global thing not like pandemic anyway but the way it spread was like a pandemic so that kind of day supposed to be recognised as there is no any other day that supersedes it in terms of event and relevance.
“So for President Mohammadu Buhari to have accepted our quest, we have to be happy,in fact I am elated by that pronouncement, so in other words as it is now since there is no any other superior day to June 12, when MKO Abiola was unanimously voted and elected but was denied which even led to the death of so many people, besides we are not even praying for that kind of day again to repeat itself.”.