June 12, 2009

Some Nigerians speak on June 12

June 12  memory still lingers, but there are insinuations that people who ought to remember  and celebrate it tend to forget, or are not excited , and it was in view of this that Saturday Vanguard sampled the opinions of some politicians in the country and these are  their reactions.

If people are not celebrating June 12 as it should be, it’s a reflection of their disenchantment with the way democracy has been practised in this country in the last ten years— Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor

I don’t believe that the memory of June 12 is going down. If people are not celebrating it as they should, it is a reflection of their disenchantment with the way democracy has been practised in this country in the last ten years.

To many Nigerians,June 12 represents the possibilities of what a proper electoral system should be.

There should be  a clear-cut understanding between June 12 and May 2 9— Jimi Agbaje, Politician. When we talk about democracy there are principles that readily come to mind.

Firstly, majority of the electorate having their way at elections that is power of state which is controlled by majority of citizens, and secondly, free and fair elections.
When these two main principles are related to June 12, 1993 and May 29, 1999, it become obvious which qualifies better for Democracy day.

May 29, 1999 was just another day of change of baton from military to civilian rule while June 12 1993, on the other hand symbolises the day that Nigerians chose their leader through the ballot box.. The elections were  the freest and fairest we have ever held in this country. Nigerians put religion aside voting for a Muslim.

After the elections, a small cabal decided to overturn the will of the people. Nigerians rose to fight the injustice and that practically brought the country to a standstill, all in a bid to enforcing the June 12 election results.

Hundreds were thrown in detention, many died, including the symbol of the struggle (Chief M.K. O. Abiola), all because of June 12.

June 12 should not be seen as a South West issue. It was a struggle that cut across the length and breadth of our country. Those that were detained  or killed were Nigerians from different parts of the country.

June 12 can never be wished away. It will occupy its rightful place, much sooner than later.