As the nation marks the first anniversary of the declaration of June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day today, scores of Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings on the mileage democratic governance has accorded the citizens since the 1993 Presidential election, believed to have been won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, MKO Abiola.
Some insist nothing much has been achieved has been achieved despite federal government’s move to recognise Chief Moshood Abiola as the winner of the controversial June 12 Presidential election.
One of the sons of the late Chief MKO Abiola Jamiu Abiola today advised that it is time for leaders of the country to look beyond the sacrifices of his father, adopt and implement all the legacies he lived and died for.
He explained that recognising the day as democracy day would be of no significant effect if all the ideals Abiola fought and stood for are ignored.
He said “There must be a more uniform approach between the federal and state governments on strategies adopted for progressive growth and development in the country.
“Don’t look at June 12 as Abiola’s sacrifice, look beyond and think of what more you can do as a citizen to better the country instead of depending on your leaders to do everything. Go ahead and contribute your quota”, he said.
Jamiu, a writer noted that there will be no significant celebration in Abiola’s residence owing to the restrictions posed by the COVID- 19 pandemic’ with emphasis on physical and social distancing.
Similarly, some Nigerians have voiced out their opinions on what June 12 symbolises against the backdrop of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government decision to accord the day the priority it deserved.
Notable among them is the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode who in a tweet this morning would rather salute the courage and resilience of Nigerians in the face of what he described as tyrannical and crippled economy in the last five years
Over 1 million slaughtered over the last 5 years, economy destroyed, poverty entrenched, tyranny established, justice denied, yet we still STAND!— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 12, 2020
We are strong. We are resilient. We are courageous. We refuse to bow & in the end we SHALL prevail!
Happy Democracy Day Nigeria!
For Patrick Ikechukwu , a lawyer who lives in Abuja, 21 years of uninterrupted democratic rule has done little in the life of the nation.
His words: “Human rights abuse is on the rise in the country. Citizens can hardly speak freely without fear of being picked by members of the various security outfits.”
He further explained that there is a deliberate attempt by the government to continously manipulate the electoral process as it as been silent on issues bothering on electoral reforms..
Ayodeji Oluwatobi says it is time for government to begin to work the talk rather than come up every day to read speeches to citizenship. For him, it is important they begin to implement policies that will favour the masses and improve the quality of their lives.
Peter Yakubu on his part advocates strongly for the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, it is the only way the government can prove to its citizens that it is ready to honour the legacies of Abiola and not merely celebrating same.
Habiba Hassan said 21 years of democratic rule has not translated into the meaningful development worthy of note.
Her words: “Look at power- nothing has been done to improve on it. All we have is blackout all over the country. Same is true of education with the sector witnessing no improvement. Insecurity is another one on the. Residents of some communities can hardly sleep with thier eyes closed. What can we say is the benefit of the democracy we are celebrating”.
For Emmanuel Oludare, he is elated that former President Ibrahim Babangida is alive and well to witness this day after he announced the annulment of the election.
He recounts his days in Ibadan as child in 1993 how he benefited from various acts of kindness and how well the parents promised him life will be as soon as Abiola assumed office which was never to be .
He said “If the recognition of June 12 is genuine and intended for good, then our leaders today must take another hold step and restructure the country else we will continue to hover round in circles repeating same mistakes year I year out jeopardising the future of a better democracy”.
Recall that on June 6, 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari-led government announced its decision to recognise Mr Abiola as the winner of the controversial June 12, 1993 elections.
The President during the declaration directed that effective from 2019 Nigeria’s Democracy Day hitherto marked on 29th May anually be shifted to June 12 to honour Moshood Abiola the winner of the 1993 election.
This year’s Democracy Day Celebration was marked with a speech from the President to citizens with no fanfare as a result of COVID-19.