By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, said on Saturday the late Aare MKO Abiola would not be happy that the democracy he lived and died for turned into autocracy in practice.
Adams stated this while speaking at the annual June 12 commemoration organised by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) at the Excellence Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
He lamented that Nigeria’s democracy evolves in disunity, rivalry and wanton killings across the nation, adding that the democracy the late Aare MKO Abiola lived and died for has failed to accommodate the worthy ideals the late Abiola cherished most.
“This present danger has been threatening the fragile union of our great country. And sadly, Nigeria is sliding towards an anarchical terminal point. Nigeria is at war with itself because a section of the country has always betrayed the trust which is the bond that binds us together as a nation.
“A good example of this is the federal government’s ban and suspension of the Twitter platform. As far as I am concerned, it is another ploy to tamper with the citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and expression.
“And if the Federal Government succeeded in banning and suspending twitter, it would easily do the same for other social media platforms. Now that the Federal Government has said all social media platforms must be registered to continue operating in the country. We must follow the trend and rise against skewed regulations. We must stop this excessive use of federal might to truncate the ideals of democracy.
“In global democracy, freedom of speech and expression is a major component of an ideal democracy. And Nigeria cannot continue to live in deceit and self-denial.
“If democracy could not guarantee freedom of speech and expression, so what system of government will guarantee such component of good governance?
Meanwhile, the Guest lecturer, Prof David Aworawo, Head of Department (HOD) of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, in his speech titled “June 12 and National Integrity”, said the annulment of the June 12 elections which was adjudged the freest and fairest in the annals of Nigeria had created a lacuna for the country, saying the annual had also created a setback to the development process of National integration.
“June 12 elections had given us the opportunities to look back and redress the mistakes of the past.
We can only change the narrative by reflecting on the June 12 milestone to achieve national integration and political stability.
“Every country always wishes to enjoy the influence and control of a big country, but the size of a country largely depends on the control and influence a country has among the comity of nations.”
Other guests at the event include Prof Derin Ologbenla, Chairman, Lagos State NUJ Mr Adeleye Ajayi, Chief Gani Kayode Balogun, Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Babajide Tanimowo, Yinka Oguntimehin and other prominent dignitaries.