Declaring June 12 Democracy Day but destroying democracy | Opinion by Atiku Abubakar

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. Click here to become one of our members and help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

The significance of the celebration of June 12 1993 Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country. On this day twenty-six years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.

The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandize the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.

Suffice it to state that the idea of June 12 is not merely to declare it as a Democracy Day – much as celebratory and commendable it might seem. The idea behind the event of June 12 1993 embodies something much more bigger than that.  It was a threshold moment in our national life that demands of us as democrats to do a soul searching and ask the salient question of all time: how better off are Nigerians?

It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights. It is not enough to declare June 12 a work free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty, when Nigeria is now the global headquarters of extreme poverty. It is not enough to declare June 12 a work free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed. It is not enough to declare June 12 a work free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.

As a compatriot who stood shoulder to shoulder with the icon of the June 12 struggle, Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory, I know first-hand that the choice of HOPE as his campaign slogan wasn’t merely a populist tokenism.  He didn’t mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon. And, today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people.

It is therefore not acceptable that an administration which had an opportunity of four years to deliver the promise of change to Nigerians, not only reneged on that promise, but propelled the country into a near-comatose state will lay claims to being a true friend of the June 12 struggle.

To be a lover of June 12 is to believe in the common good of the people. June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy. It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.

As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant  today much as it was twenty-six years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the HOPE alive.

Read full article

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian politician, businessman and philanthropist who served as the second elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. This is an official statement from him.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

MOST POPULAR

239 scientists from over 30 countries urge WHO to tell the world about airborne spread of coronavirus

At least 239 scientists from over 30 countries are urging the World Health Organization to address the airborne transmission of COVID-19, a...

SEE IT: Certified true copy of the conviction of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in the United States for $25,000 theft

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila was convicted in the state of Georgia in the United States...

African Development Bank names former President of Ireland and two legal experts to review ethics report clearing President Adesina

The African Development Bank has named a former President of Ireland, a former attorney general in The Gambia and a Washington...

WHO warns access to HIV medicines severely impacted by COVID-19 as AIDS response stalls

Seventy-three countries have warned that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines as a result of the COVID-19...

Nigeria’s anti-corruption czar Ibrahim Magu who was arrested for financial fraud on Monday expected to be arraigned in court and removed from office after night in police custody

Nigeria's anti-corruption czar Ibrahim Magu who was arrested for alleged financial fraud on Monday is expected to be arraigned in...
- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister and presidential candidate for ruling party Amadou Gon Coulibaly dies after ministerial meeting

Ivory Coast's Prime Minister and presidential candidate for the ruling party Amadou Gon Coulibaly has died after falling ill at a...

South African President heartbroken as COVID-19 kills Her Majesty Queen Noloyiso Sandile of the AmaRharhabe Kingdom

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his profound sadness at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Noloyiso Sandile, Regent of the Royal...

Harvard University and MIT sue Trump admin over order to deport all foreign students, including tens of thousands of Africans, taking classes online amid COVID-19

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday asked a federal court to temporarily block an order by the Trump...

Africa records over 500 000 COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 infections in Africa today surpassed 500 000, and there is concern as a growing number of countries are experiencing a sharp...

Residents describe mass executions as graves with over 180 bodies are found in Burkina Faso

Common graves containing at least 180 bodies have been found in a northern town in Burkina Faso in recent months, and available evidence...

[/read_more]

Read full article

error: Alert: Content is protected !!
Share
Tweet
Share
Pin
WhatsApp