(Stanley Nwanosike, NAN)
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has called on Nigerians to deepen democracy by upholding virtues of national unity, integration and cohesion as the nation marks June 12 as Democracy Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 recognised the outcome of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election and declared June 12 as National Democracy Day.
The Chairman of CLO, Anambra chapter, Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, made the call while speaking with NAN in Enugu on Wednesday.
Ezekwueme said that for Nigerians to actualise the Nigeria of their dreams, hopes and aspirations, ‘we must reenact the spirit of June 12 of oneness and focus.’
He said that in the June 12 Presidential Election, Nigerians voted beyond their religious, tribal, class and clan cleavages, and opted for peace, patriotism, national unity and solidarity.
‘Nigerians should observe the second-anniversary declaration of June 12 by President Muhammadu Buhari as Democracy Day and use the Day to rekindle the tenets, principles and lessons of June 12.
‘These principles and lessons symbolise and are characterised by patriotism, nationalism, unity in diversity, love, empathy, peace, selfless service and cooperation towards national unity, integration and cohesion.
‘It is of prime importance to recall that June 12, 1993, Presidential Election is the best, credible, free, fair, national and internationally accepted election in Nigeria’s history,’ he said.
According to him, it is an existential reality that the declaration of June 12 is the best and greatest democratic dividend bequeathed to posterity by the Buhari led-administration because democracy is founded on social justice.
‘The Buhari’s decision and move has helped to enthrone patriotism, truth, justice, unity and integration.
‘Significantly, those in the vanguard for the struggle are fulfilled and satisfied because justice has triumphed over injustice, falsehood and nepotism,’ he said.
The CLO official, however, appealed to Buhari to immortalise the Amazon and Doyen of June 12 struggle, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, as well as Pa Alfred Rewane and Prof. Humphrey Nwosu the erstwhile chairman of INEC for their patriotism, steadfastness and courage in the struggle.
‘Chief MKO Abiola is the greatest leader in Africa after Nelson Mandela hence the inevitable need to inculcate June 12 in our school’s curriculum to enshrine the virtues and culture of patriotism and selfless sacrifices on the citizenry.
‘As the campaign slogan of Chief MKO Abiola was “Hope 93 – Farewell to Poverty”, relentless efforts should be geared towards eradication of poverty and entrench prosperity and progress in our country,’ he said.