MKO Abiola

MKO Abiola

Buhari Must Declare June 12 As National Democracy Day – Amitolu


…As he Commends Aregbesola for Declaring Monday as Public Holiday to Commemorate June 12

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The National Coordinator, Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency give national recognition towards the celebration of June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day.

Comrade Amitolu also charged President Muhammadu Buhari to immortalize late Moshood Abiola by including his name into the list of the former presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The human rights activist stated this while addressing journalist during the 23rd commemoration of June 12 rally in Osogbo, Osun State.

The rally which set out at the popular Ayetoro junction terminated at the popular Olaiya junction where top activists addressed the people on the significance of June 12 election to the nation’s democratic experience.

Amitolu noted that the only way for the current government under the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari to showcase its genuineness and high sense of commitment was to declare June 12 as national Democracy Day.

Comrade Amitolu reiterated that the present administration must accord late Moshood Abiola all the benefits, entitlements and remuneration due to ex-presidents even in posthumous, adding that his family must also be honoured in such a way the nation honours erstwhile presidents.

Amitolu who decried over the fading of circumstances that brought June 12 into history, said though death is inevitable in life but history can never be discarded on the surface of reality.

The human rights activist lamented over the way and manner at which the successive administrations in Nigeria had chosen to neglect the commemoration of June 12, saying unless Nigerian government go back to drawing board and fashion-out the events that led to annulment of the 1993 Presidential election vis-a-vis the death of Chief Moshood Abiola, the nation’s democracy would remain a toy in the hands of careless child.

According to him, “The significance of June 12 commemoration is to celebrate the unprecedented courage of those who in one way or the other lost their lives in the course of the annulment of 1993 Presidential elections which was universally adjudged as the most credible, freest and credible election in Nigeria.

“As we are celebrating the martyr and the heroine of democracy who laid their lives on the line for the survival of democracy in Nigeria, we must not forget their impacts towards the democratic sustainability of Nigeria.

“Unequivocally, June 12 ushers Nigeria into democratic rule we are all enjoying today because without June 12 there cannot be peace, security and unity we are enjoying today in the country.

“If not that Bashorun Moshood Abiola sacrificed his life for the socio-political emancipation of Nigerians especially the downtrodden masses, Late Sanni Abasha would have transformed into president.

Comrade Amitolu commended Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola for declaring Monday 13, as public holiday in Osun State to mark the annulment of June 12, 1993 election and for remembrance of late Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola who was believed to have won the election that was adjudged as the freest and fairest election in the country.

The pro-democracy activist advised other state governors to emulate Aregbesola by giving due recognition to June 12, saying the struggle that followed the annulment of June 12 election paved way for the enthronement of democratic rule in the country in 1999, insisting that June 12 must be seen as the real democracy day.

The activist also lamented that Nigerian citizens have not enjoyed adequate dividends of democracy and called on government at all levels to provide socio-amenities for the people to ameliorate the suffering of the downtrodden masses as intended by MKO Abiola.

Comrade Amitolu who condemned what he described as “flimsy excuses” given by some states who did not declare public holiday, especially in the South West, that this year June 12 was on Sunday, arguing that despite the fact that this year June 12 falls on Sunday does not prevent them from declaring holiday.

He said “I have disagreement with states that already declared public holiday in the last two years, but now trying to reverse their decision. It shows hypocrisy and hypocrisy is not good before our God.

“God cursed hypocrites. Those who are in that kind of character should have rethink. By next year, we will prepare for them if they want to hide under weekend, we will not take it from them.

While calling on the federal government to address the economic crisis that the nation was plunged into owing to bad leadership, the activist hailed the anti-corruption efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and urged the president to fight corruption to standstill.

Comrade Amitolu however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the M. K. O. Abiola Farewell to Poverty blueprint, stressed that “it is a document that meet the test of time.

He added, “President Muhammadu Buhari should critically implement M. K. O Abiola’s blueprint that advocates farewell to poverty, insecurity, corruption, kidnapping and other social injustice.

“This was a document that meets the test of time and speaks the minds of teeming Nigerians.

“President Buhari must refuse to tow the line of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar-adua and Goodluck Jonathan who in their consecutive years in office refused to recognize June 12 as national Democracy Day in the country.

“President Buhari must think about the history of this country. He must think about the selfless sacrifices made by Nigerians to liberate the country from the shackles of tyrannical, devilish and oppressive elements.

Amitolu therefore called on Mr. President to make social security as the mainstay of his administration’s policies and programmes by prioritizing the welfare of the masses.

According to him, “It is our beliefs that social security will put an end to all forms of societal vices most significantly the plethora of displeasure-able challenges facing Nigerian masses.

Earlier, Osun Coordinator of Human Rights Agenda Network, Comrade Waheed Saka, said the significance of June 12 can never be over emphasized in the socio-political and economic history of Nigeria, adding that it symbolizes the memorable day when the teeming Nigerians regardless of their ethnicity, ideology, educational background, religion and locality thronged out heterogeneously and voted-in Chief Moshood Abiola as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Comrade Waheed insisted that May 29 in the history of Nigeria was known as a child of June 12, just as he argued that, the selfless sacrifices made by the Late Moshood Abiola, his wife, Kudirat Abiola as well as the blood of the patriotic Nigerians who lost their lives in the struggles gave birth to May 29.

The activist vowed that as far as the progressive minded Nigerians remain united in Nigeria, the spirit of the historic presidential election of June 12, 1993 would continue to be celebrated even in the face of blatant refusal by the federal government.

The human rights activist maintained that June 12 is not for South-West people but Nigeria in general.

He urged people to correct the impression that June 12 is meant for South-West, saying “it is Nigeria election that was adjudged the most fairest, freest and most credible just as he insisted that Farewell to Poverty of Abiola’s manifesto must be implemented by the current government.

Meanwhile, some of the pro-democracy activists at the rally include; Comrade Waheed Lawal, Barrister Toyin Eweje, Comrade Rahmon Shenge, Comrade Wale Adebisi, Comrade Wale Balogun, Comrade Amusan Johnson, Comrade Oyebade Olowogboyega, Comrade Rasheed Raji Ropo, Comrade Khalid Ibrahim among others who took turns to address the people at the rally.

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