A public affairs analyst, Mr Usman Umar, has advised Nigerians to put premium on national interest and protect Nigeria’s democracy to avoid repeat of June 12, 1993 incident.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Umar, the crisis recorded after the annulment of the 1993 presidential election by the military government, which conducted it, would have been avoided if political stakeholders accorded priority to national interest.
The presidential election was adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria and was won by late Chief MKO Abiola, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist from the South-West of the country.
Umar said that the memory of the election would remain evergreen due to the positive impact it would have had on the nation.
He said that politicians and the electorate should always put national interest first, adding that politicians should draw lesson from the 1993 saga and understand how elections could be won without hate speeches.
“Abiola did not engage in hate speech or campaign of calumny yet he was voted by majority of the electorate.
“He had a landslide victory as people who did not share same ethnic and religious sentiments voted for him because the party had presented manifesto that was acceptable to them.
“It is unlike what we have today where people engage in name-calling and hate speech instead of dwelling on issues,’’ Umar said.
The analyst further stressed the need for unbiased electoral umpire in order to entrench good governance in the country.
“For good governance to thrive there should be an unbiased electoral body to guarantee free and fair elections.
“Also, there is need for the wishes of the people to be respected. People should be conscious of protecting the democracy and never allow a repeat of 1993 election annulment because it has taken us backward.
“If election does not count, what is the purpose of democracy,” Umar said.