The administration of the former President Muhammadu Buhari declared every June 12 as the day to mark "Democracy Day" in Nigeria. This declaration was in tandem with the calls for the appreciation of the impact of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola on Nigerian democracy.
Recall that MKO Abiola's electoral victory on June 12th, 1993 was annulled by former Military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. The agitation for the restoration of Abiola's mandate lead to the return of the nation to the democratic rule from the military rule in 1999.
However, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was not fully satisfied with the space of achievement and practices of democracy in the Country. In his statement today, marking the June 12 2023 democracy Day, Atiku Abubakar hinted that more war are to be fought, mostly to stop the ruling party from deciding who wins an election in Nigeria.
Atiku Abubakar's statement read in parts:
"On this occasion of Democracy Day, it is time for us to reflect as a people and a country on our journey to becoming a democratic society.
"For Nigerians who were around during the dark days of military dictatorships, it is important that we appreciate the successes that we have achieved in making democracy the norm of politics in Nigeria.
"But democracy without a corresponding commitment to the principles of fairness and fidelity to the rule of play by stakeholders in conducting elections still leaves the people prostrate to dictatorship tendencies.
"For our democracy to be fully fledged, it must constantly evolve away from the current practice where the governing elite determines the outcome of elections.
"When I often take stock of the activism that birthed the current democratic dispensation, I am even more convinced that much work still lies ahead.
"Democracy and the process of democratisation are a constant work in progress. While what we celebrate today is a return to civil rule in Nigeria, the desire to make our democracy self-sustaining and independent of anti-democratic elements is the new frontier of participation by all democrats.
"As it requires collective energy and commitment to attain civil rule, it will require a concomitant commitment to advance the cause of democracy and our democratisation process.
"The challenge ahead of us and the future of our democracy will rely heavily on what we do or fail to do today.
"To achieve this noble goal, our commitment to the cause of democracy must be eternal.
"Folks on the other side, enemies of democracy, whom we are up against, are not resting. To defeat them, we must do more!
"As I congratulate Nigerians on this day, in celebration of the return to civil rule, I also call our consciousness to the reality that democracy in Nigeria remains in bondage, and it will need the energy of all of us to rescue it.
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Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 6/12/2023 11:23:01 AM