FORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that the declaration of June 12 to commemorate democracy in Nigeria does not echo the true dividends of democracy since inception.
This information was contained in a statement made available on Wednesday.
Abubakar said June 12, embodied something much bigger, but “a threshold moment in our national life that demands of us as democrats to do a soul searching and ask the salient question of all time: how better off are Nigerians?
“It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights.
“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty, when Nigeria is now the global headquarters of extreme poverty,” Abubakar said.
According to him, Chief Mishood Abiola’s campaign choice of ‘HOPE’, encapsulated in his slogan wasn’t to deceive Nigerians with the hope he could not deliver upon, and as such called on every June 12 convert to demand of those, either in government or in private lives, to deliver on the promises they made to the people.
“It is therefore not acceptable that an administration which had an opportunity of four years to deliver the promise of change to Nigerians, not only reneged on that promise but propelled the country into a near-comatose state will lay claims to being a true friend of the June 12 struggle.”
He noted that being a June 12 lover is far off believing in the common good of the people, but a concentration to rebuild the Nigeria economy, creating wealth and jobs for the unemployed masses.
He added it is about shared prosperity and not the inclination of shared pain.
He enjoined the masses to keep the HOPE alive as the struggle of June 12 continues.
“As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was twenty-six years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the ‘HOPE’ alive.”
Buhari had on June 6, 2018, declared that June 12 would be the new Democracy Day in commemoration of the presidential election of June 12, 1993, presumed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.
The president on Monday, June 10, signed into law the Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill which accommodates June 12 as the new Nigeria’s Democracy Day, replacing May 29,
Senator Ita Enang, the presidential aide noted that the newly amended law shifts the public holiday observed on May 29th to June 12, every year.