Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Some citizens of Delta State have applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring that henceforth Democracy Day will no longer be celebrated on May 29 but on June 12.
National coordinator, Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, said the declaration was in its proper place in the political history of the nation, insisting that June 12 is the real Democracy Day, and that generations yet unborn should be educated on the supreme price paid by the Late M.K.O Abiola for democracy to thrive.
Ikimi argued that the declaration was not a strategy to woo South-West ahead of the 2019 general election, saying: “It may be a political strategy, but I will not key into that argument because I am one of those people clamouring for June 12 to be made Democracy Day.
“So whatever the motive behind it does not really matter, what matters to Nigerians is that we now have June 12 recognized as Democracy Day.
“On that day we will continue to remember a the freest and fairest election that was annulled unjustly by the despicable military regime of Gen. Babangida.
“When we begin to celebrate this day generation yet unborn will begin to ask questions, then they will know that Nigeria conducted a free, fair, peaceful and credible election. June 12 will take its proper place in the political history of the nation.”
Chairman of the Niger Bar Association, (NBA) Asaba, Chuks Ebudozie in his reaction described it as a “laudable idea”
According to Ebudozie, the declaration is not too late as Nigerians have always agitated for it, noting that Nigerians will always read ulterior political motives into actions of the present administration.
On the posthumous award given to the late Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), Ebudozie commended the federal government.
“The posthumous award is also very laudable, because we have to start on a footing of truth. The problem of the nation is that it is built on a foundation of falsehood. If it is built on truth, there won’t be any problem. You might say it is political, but for me there is nothing anybody will do that we won’t read meaning into it,” Ebudozie said.
Also reacting, Comrade Emeka Nkwoala said the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari is a welcomed development, and commended the president for having the courage and responsiveness with which he acted.
“We believe rather late than never. It was my first experience at the electoral process. For me, June 12, 1993 was a watershed in the history of our country. I was a first time voter, M. K. O poster was displayed and that of his opponent, Tofa and we queued behind orderly,” Nkwoala recalled.
He however demanded that INEC should “now declare Abiola and Kingibe as former president and vice respectively, and the government should pay them all their entitlements. The struggle for a just and egalitarian society continues, and victory is sure.”
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