Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu has advised that young Nigerians should be educated on the significance of the June 12 anniversary.
The Governor stressed that it is through the formal education on the importance of the day that the people will appreciate and immortalize Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of what has been adjudged as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria.
Speaking at the maiden National Democracy Day Celebration in remembrance of late MKO Abiola, the hero of the annulled June 12, 1993 general elections held at De Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said “On June 12, 1993, Nigeria had an election adjudged by the entire world to be the freest and fairest and remains so till this moment”.
He said the importance of June 12 should not be lost on Nigerians, adding that parents should drum up its importance to the young ones and its relevance to the democracy Nigerians now enjoy noting that the day was too significant in our history to be forgotten .
“We are here today to continue what Lagos State government started in 1999. We must thank President Muhammadu Buhari because June 12 is part of our history. We must let our children know about June 12. If over two hundred million Nigerians do the right thing and maintain their lanes, this country will be great,” he said.
“Democracy as the June 12, 1993 elections and its annulment have shown, is a process and not an event in itself. It is a process which acknowledges that the burning desire and the power of the people, in choosing their leaders, is clearly deep-rooted and non-negotiable”, Sanwo-Olu said.
Earlier in the day at the residence of late MKO Abiola, the governor had advised Nigerians to ensure that this watershed will continue to be celebrated.
According to himy “The relentless pursuit of progressive governance and the peoples’ belief in it are the reasons why I now stand before you on this historic day as your governor”, Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor commended patriotic and excellent Nigerians that sacrificed their time, resources and their very lives to make the essence of June 12 acknowledged.
“Our great leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu along with many others were at the vanguard for the actualisation of the democracy and democratic state which the June 12 mandate birthed in the country”, he said.
Earlier, in his lecture, “Hope 93, Democratic prosperity and political stability,” the guest speaker, Professor Pat Utomi said for Abiola’s memory to be maintained, the political class must have a renewed sense of service and make the country work again.
“Abiola wanted to fight for economic Justice. In the last two years, N1.8trillion has left Nigeria Stock Exchange because people no longer want to do business in Nigeria. Why do we allow our country to be seen as money losing machine?”
“Nigerian elites should see to how the country can work again to prevent anarchy that is coming. Do we need a new NADECO to liberate us? Politics is about service and the generality of the good of the people. We must build a country of people working together for the good of all if we are going to do pride to Abiola’s memory,” Utomi said.
In his contribution, the Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Yisa Aremu said the declaration of June 12 as democracy day is ‘ a triumph of democracy over military dictatorship’ urging the political class to channel their energy against poverty.
“For today, it is a total commitment. What seems impossible has become a reality. This is a triumph of democracy over dictatorship. It is to renew our commitment to democratic process.
In his reaction, Abdul Amin Abiola, who spoke on behalf of the family expressed appreciation to all Nigerians, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, for their support and steadfastness in making the day a reality.