Says June 12 is a day of dashed hope
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
A development-based advocacy group, YouthAid on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s pro-poor social welfare policies are similar to the vision shared by the winner of the June 12 presidential elections, late Chief Moshood Abiola.
YouthAid also said that June 12 before 2018 was a day of dashed hopes and a day that was deliberately murdered by actors and cronies.
President Buhari on June 6, 2018, changed Democracy Day from May 29 when the journey to the fourth republic started to June 12, when the MKO Abiola’s election victory was annulled.
Recall that June 12, 1993, was the day a presidential election was conducted in Nigeria under a two-party system, the Social Democratic Party, SDP, which had Chief Moshood Abiola as its candidate and the National Republican Convention, NRC, which presented Alhaji Bashir Toda.
The result of the election which saw Chief Abiola leading was annulled controversially by the military regime headed by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Executive Director of YouthAid, Olalekan Smart Edwards, flanked by Peter Babaye, a member of the board said that President Buhari should be venerated for choosing June 12 as the Democracy Day.
He said that the school feeding programme, N5,000 conditional cash transfer as well as the recent move to engage 774,000 rural dwellers in a federal government-funded public works programme are some of the poverty alleviation programmes which will go a long way in reducing the economic hardship facing Nigerians.
He said the Buhari administration has no doubt put to test through the execution of pro-poor social welfare schemes.
“To affirm that the hope rising episode or hope renewal on June 6, 2018, was a call to duty, a demand he placed on himself to remember the poor through laudable projects. It was a challenge he threw on his administration to uphold the hands of the weakest of society and protect them always.”
He commended President Buhari for summoning the courage to declare June 12 as democracy day, adding that the President by that gesture had inadvertently given himself the task of fulfilling the core vision of the struggle which is to restore hope to hopeless.
He said, ‘No doubt the untamed attraction of the President to the hopeless, helpless, vulnerable that rekindles their nostalgia, “on the March again“. Outstandingly those noble thoughts have seen the biggest and bravest intervention in our history, the social investments program.
“Today the poor and the Nation sees, rural roads, smallholder farmers, small and medium scale enterprise, the feeding of their children, they can begin to see their world-changing, seeing a country they can also call theirs.
“They looked up to heaven as though no help while others lived in pleasure but today the look up to heaven for more from this administration.
“This is a democracy, where they partake in the farming and the benefits, access roads for their produce, textiles, have a small business that government can support. Therefore the President Buhari leadership has made major bold decisions that reflect his desires to make free the bondmen in their country,” he said.
He said 27 years after the annulment of the election, Nigerians still remind themselves of the journey, remember the candidate, the supporters, the sustainers, and the saboteurs.
According to him, “Before June 6, 2018, all policies of government and governance in this country was based on reaping the poor, taking their lands and the little they could acquire, while they saw fellow citizens as taskmasters.
“So June 12, to the masses of the Country was a day of dashed hopes, a day deliberately murdered by actors and cronies, a day that young people trooped out to express hope in a Candidate who encapsulated their aspirations, certainly a day our history refuses to forget.
“Today is June 12 and we are fighting an enemy, we have always known the enemies to our democracy but this we never had, thus I would like to appreciate the great men and women standing on the frontlines for our safety and let me thank the working leadership at the PTF.
“27 years later, we still remind ourselves of the journey, we remember the Candidate, the Supporters, the Sustainers, and the Saboteurs, all a story for another. This is so because there have been many sides to the story. Even the military has its Version.”