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Chief M.K.O Abiola

 

June 12, 1993, will go down forever in the history of Nigeria as the day when the hero of democracy was made in the person of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and the day also when the greatest enemy of democracy in Nigeria was made in the person of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, the former military Head of State of Nigeria.

June 12 as a day is regarded as Democracy Day in Nigeria and today marks the second commemoration of the 25th year of unbroken democracy in Nigeria.  

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

 

Recall that democracy’s return to Nigeria in 1999 after the election that was adjudged the freest, fairest, and the best was annulled by the then-military junta, under the leadership of Ibrahim Babagida in 1993. June 12, because of its significance is considered a day of celebration of what was lost and yet to be found, whereas the right thing to do on a day like this is introspect and work towards the recovery of the real thing that was lost on June 12, 1993, which was the hero of democracy in the person of Chief M.K.O Abiola.

The former president Muhammadu Buhari did well to declare June 12 as Democracy Day but failed woefully to demonstrate his understanding of what needed to be done to make democracy realistic to Nigerians. Democracy without its dividends is worse than autocracy and that exactly was the case with former president Muhammadu Buhari, who did not only deny Nigerians the dividends of democracy but bankrupted the country.

As we all know, the moon is just one but stars are uncountable, to this end, there are so many other Nigerians apart from Chief M.K.O Abiola, who had the heroism of the man who paid the supreme price rub off on them. They are too numerous to mention but one of them is the current and sitting president of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

 

Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his Democracy Day speech eulogises those he considers to be heroes of democracy, though the list was not all-inclusive, however, he did not deem it fit to allot at least a paragraph in honour of the real hero of June 12, Chief M.K.O Abiola, this can either be deliberate or an avoidable oversight.

The celebration organized by the Federal Government to commemorate the 25th year of unbroken democracy in Nigeria was colourful, with the main activity that commanded the attention of the attendants the most as the unveiling of a portrait that is reputed to be the largest single portrait of an individual in the entire world. There was a great speculation of whose portrait it was, with most people expecting it to be that of the hero of democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, in the end, and after the unveiling, it turned out to be the portrait of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

To most patriotic Nigerians, that action leaves much to be desired, for it fits in for description as the case of Jacob who stole the birthright of Esau. What further makes the portrait undeserving to its owner is the fact that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has just spent a year in office with a poll conducted by a credible international organization showing that 80 percent of Nigerians were dissatisfied with his administration in his first year. The state of the economy in the country is such that has plunged many more Nigerians into poverty and insecurity has worsened between May 29, 2023, when the President took the oath of office, and now. In addition, all the policies of his administration are seen to be trial and error, with no positive result in view or realised. 

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There is also the problem of agreeing on a national minimum wage for workers which has led the labour union to down tools for a day with billions of naira lost and negotiations are still ongoing with no certainty on where it will end. The situation of the country is not in any way conducive to warrant an ostentatious and extravagant celebration, as seen taking place at the Eagle Square in the early hours of today, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the First Nigerian President after Democracy returned in 1999

 

It is important to note that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu easily gets carried away by influences from the retinue of sycophants around him, otherwise, the idea of the portrait brought to the Eagle Square today for unveiling would have been avoided and probably, the President would have been more focused to the extent that the unintended and unimagined fall he was involved in would not have happened.

In conclusion, June 12 leaves behind important lessons for Nigeria, one of which is a free, fair, transparent, and credible election. Going by this important aspect of what makes democracy worthwhile as a system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, one can say without any iota of doubt and apologies that the February 25th, 2023 Presidential elections that brought President Bola Ahmed Tinubu into office with 37 percent votes of Nigerians are at variance and in sharp contrast with the ideal democratic principles. From the personal lesson learned by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today at the Eagle Square, especially that of his fall, wisdom now demands of him to focus on the substantive regarding what to do that will make him come closer to the shoes and legacies of the late hero of democracy in Nigeria, Chief M.K.O Abiola.

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It takes the guts to get out of the rots. Restructuring Nigeria as a country is the goal and where that is impossible, breaking up the whole vision of the country Nigeria into actualizable proportions becomes indispensable before the breakdown of it into pieces becomes inevitable. 

May God Almighty grant the gentle soul of Chief M.K.O Abiola eternal rest.

Happy June 12, Happy Democracy Day!

 

Written

by 

Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju.

This entry was posted in News, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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