June 12: Pro-Democracy Activists Hold Rally In Osun | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


June 12: Pro-Democracy Activists Hold Rally In Osun

Posted: Jun 13, 2016 at 6:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Gbenga Faturoti

Osogbo – Pro-democracy activists on Sunday celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election with peaceful procession round major streets of Osogbo, the state capital.

The procession which set out at the popular Ayetoro Junction terminated at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park at Old Garage where top activists addressed the people on the significance of June 12 election to the nation’s democratic experience.

Comrade Amitolu Shitu, Comrade Waheed Lawal, Comarde (Dr.) Olowogboyega Oyebade, Comrade Waheed Saka, Barrister Toyin Eweje, Barrister Rahamon Shenge, Comrade Wale Balogun and Comrade Wale Adebisi were the few that addressed the people in turn.

They called on the Federal Government to recognise June 12 as Democracy Day instead of May 29.
They also commended Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State Governor, for declaring today as a public holiday in the state to mark the annulment of June 12, 1993 election and for remembering late Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola who was believed to have won the election that was adjudged the freest and fairest election in the country.

The pro-democracy activists advised other state governors to emulate Aregbesola by giving due recognition to June 12.
They noted that the struggle that followed the annulment of June 12 election paved way for the enthronement of democratic rule in 1999, insisting that June 12 must be seen as the real democracy day.

The activists also lamented that Nigerian citizens have not enjoyed adequate dividends of democracy and called on government at all levels to provide social amenities for the people and ameliorate the suffering of the downtrodden masses as intended by MKO Abiola.

While calling on the Federal Government to address the economic crisis that the nation was plunged into owing to bad leadership, the activists hailed the anti-corruption efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and urged him to fight corruption to a standstill.

Meanwhile, Governor Aregbesola in his comment said Nigerians and lovers of democracy would remain committed to June 12 as a political watershed in the annals of the nation, adding May 29 only symbolises the day the military handed over the affairs of the country to a democratically elected government.

He said June 12, 1993 was a day Nigerians united to vote the acclaimed winner of the presidential election, late MKO Abiola without recourse to religion, ethnicity or ideology.

He stated that the unity with which the multi-ethnic groups spoke and acted was what is being celebrated till today.
He, however, noted that since the annulment of that election 23 years ago, Nigerians waited another for 16 years for a leader that would take them to the Promised Land until the emergence of President Muhammad Buhari in 2015.

“We will never drop our commitment to June 12. Nigerians, in their heterogeneity, on June 12, 1993, voted for Chief Abiola in a pattern that defied ethnicity, religion, ideology and locality.

“It was a pattern that made mockery of the fabled fault-lines and fissiparous tendencies of the Nigerian federation and projected a nation united behind a popular leader.

“May 29 in 1999, was the date the military handed over power to civilian administration and will remain symbolic for the transition to civil rule and the opportunity it presents for realising a truly democratic government that approximates the yearnings and aspirations of the people for a leader that will lead them to the Promised Land of security and life more abundant.

“We waited for 16 years for that leadership to emerge and we thank God for the election and coming to power of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“A government with a human face is here at last. He represents the aspirations and symbolism of June 12 in that he also got a pan-Nigerian mandate that once again defied the divisions in our country.

“He represents hope for change and national rebirth. He is on that path. God willing, he will lead us to the Promised Land,” Aregbesola said.