- Custom Text
It is no longer news that Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, has signed into law the recognition of June 12 of every year as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, closing the chapter on May 29 which marked the day Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999.
President Buhari was praised for this move which he announced on June 6, 2018 at a gathering which was attended by some of the children of the man who was synonymous to the birth of June 12, late business mogul and politician, Chief MKO Abiola.
June 12 was simply about the Saturday, June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, which was contested between the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and Alhaji Bashir Tofa, candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The Election was organised by the Professor Humphrey Nwosu led National Electoral Commission (NEC) then.
Chief MKO Abiola, a Southern Muslim with a Northern Muslim running mate in the person of Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was presumed the winner against Alhaji Bashir Tofa, a Northern Muslim with Sylvester Ugo, a Southern Christian as running mate.
The June 12 Presidential Poll was said to be the freeest and fairest election in the annals of Nigeria’s elections since Independence. However, the military Head of State prior to the Election, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida annuled the poll, citing some unacceptable reasons, thereby throwing the whole country into turmoil.
Riots upon riots as well as hostilities took the centre stage after the annulment. The military government of late General Sani Abacha that succeeded the Interim National Government in November 1993 met stiff resistance from civil society organisations and political activists due to its despotic style of leadership before the return of Democracy on May 29, 1999. The rest as they say is history.
President Buhari might have received kudos by assenting to the June 12 Democracy Day Bill, however, some political analysts believed it was unnecessary to change the nations’s Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12.
Be that as it may, Nigeria and Nigerians demand virile leadership from the three arms of Government and in all ministries, departments & agencies (MDAs) as the nation clocks 20 years of return to civil rule.
The citizens want elected political office holders to be accountable and to deliver on their electioneering promises as well as steering the wheel of the country to sustainable economic prosperity as soon as possible.
There is no better way to honour the souls and memories of the June 12 heroes and heroines other than providing security and welfare to all and sundry.