By Esther Onyegbula
Pro-democracy organisation, the June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations (J12CODEF) has congratulated and felicitated with Nigerians on the 29th anniversary of the treasonablyannulled June 12 1993 presidential election won by late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo (MKO) Abiola under the banner of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In a statement issued by its general secretary Nelson Ekujumi, the group recalled how Chief MKO Abiola a Yoruba man and his running mate Alhaji Babagana Kingibe a Kanuri, both Muslims, defeated Alhaji Bashir Tofa a Muslim from Tofa village in Kano state and Sylvester Ugoh a Christian of Igbo extraction of the then National Republican Convention (NRC) even in Tofa’s ward and local government and secured a pan-Nigeria mandate in the June 12 1993 presidential election.
“Sadly and regrettably, that Pan-Nigeria mandate secured at the polls in what has remained till date the freest and fairest general election in Nigeria’s political history and which signposted the victory of the Nigerian people over military despotism and primordial sentiments, was annulled.”
However, looking back at the history of June 12 1993 presidential election which has now been acknowledged as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, the group commended President Muhammadu Buhari for writing his name in gold by recognizing June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day “unlike the fraud of May 29 which was foisted on Nigeria by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and sustained by late Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.”
The group noted that by this democratic action of hearkening to the cries of the Nigerian people who remained undaunted even in the face of persecution and deprivation, President Muhammadu Buhari has solidified his credentials as a democratic leader, which is endearing and commendable since his assumption into office.
The group then used the occasion of the Democracy Day to commend and pray for the repose of the souls of the martyrs of the struggle for democracy led by the symbol of June 12, late Bashorun MKO Abiola and others who paid the supreme price.
June 12 Coalition also commended the Nigerian people for their perseverance and loyalty to democracy even in the face of excruciating economic conditions, just as it urged them to continue to keep faith as we trudge on in this battle for a better Nigeria.
The group called on the political parties and politicians who are jostling for political offices in the forthcoming general elections window, to make the welfare of the people their cardinal focus in line with the mantra of the annulled June 12 mandate of Bashorun MKO Abiola of “Farewell to poverty”.
J12CODEF, then admonished that as the 2023 general elections draw closer, Nigerians should ensure that they go out to register and vote, because the duty to remake Nigeria for the general good is a collective exercise that requires the participation of all patriots through the possession of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
Finally, the group commiserated with the government and people of Nigeria over the security challenges which is a global phenomenon, facing the country and called on all countrymen and women to rally round the government and the security agencies in addressing this attack on our humanity and refuse to be lured or incited to violence by agents of destabilisation and anarchy who are using ethnicity and religion to stoke public disorder by politicising our security situation.