Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A renowned scholar and prominent traditional ruler in Yoruba land, the Orangun of Oke-Ila Orangun in Ifedayo Local Government Area of Osun State, Oba Adedokun Abolarin has observed that Nigeria has not experienced genuine democracy despite its 20 years of uninterrupted democratic rule.
The monarch who is a lawyer and political scientist, stated this while delivering the 2019 Democracy Day Lecture organised by the Ondo State government in Akure.
Oba Abolarin who bemoaned the military interjection in civil rule in the country, said the country would have developed more, but for the military interjection, which he said caused a major setback to the country.
He said it might take the country between 20 and 30 years before it could witness genuine democracy which all Nigerians will enjoy.
Also, the monarch stressed the need for the Federal government to recognise the heros and heroines of democracy in the country, recalling that the roles played by many activists to ensure civil rule in the country were uncommon.
He mentioned late Chief Bola Ige, Alfred Rewani, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Adekunle Ajasin, Abraham Adesanya and Gani Fawehinmi as some of the Nigerians who played significant roles at ensuring that Nigeria returned to democratic rule.
The monarch lauded the roles played by the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in the process of returning to civil rule, recalling that many members of the organisation were killed and jailed while struggling for civil rule.
He lamented that many of those who fought for democracy in Nigeria did not live to enjoy it.
Also, he opined that many of the present crop of leaders in the country would likely die before the country enjoys true and real democracy.
Speaking, Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu said the recognition given to June 12 as Democracy Day was commendable and thereby expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the recognition.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi, Akeredolu urged Nigerians to do everything to sustain democracy.