Title: [June 12, 1993 by Michael Legend]
Buhari gave his inaugural address for his second term on June 12, 2019. The late MKO Abiola was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6 June 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy day was changed to June 12 in honour of MKO.
These were done to commemorate the democratic election of MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993, in what has been adjudged to be Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. It was, however, cancelled by the Ibrahim Babangida Junta which introduced a drastic setback to the unity and prosperity of the nation; a price we are still paying till date. MKO Abiola was later detained after he declared himself the president.
The core of democracy is the principle of popular sovereignty, which holds that government can be legitimated only by the will of those whom it governs. This was defeated by IBB’s actions post-Abiola’s victory 27 years ago. We are grateful today, that although in his old age, he’s still alive to witness the aftermath of those actions that many scholars, including myself, adjudged to be founded chiefly on segregationalism.
The end of military rule following the sudden demise of General Sani Abacha on June 8, 1998 brought about a new era of regular elections as well as the return of civil liberties, free press and an end to arbitrary arrests and torture, although human rights violations still occur regularly.
Our nation also began a long campaign against the bureaucratic and military corruption that had paralyzed our economy and severely tarnished our international reputation. Not only that, the nation has been plunged into a systemic confrontational atmosphere.
It is the woman versus the man. It is Christians versus Muslims. It is the Igbos versus the Hausas versus the Yorubas. Since a little above 1960 till date, the political class has failed Nigeria, particularly the youths and the unborn. Our future traded for oil and gas. It therefore behoves on us (the youths) to realise the failures of our fathers and take drastic steps so that our own children won’t tell this same story.
It is time to look beyond tribe, religion, ethnicity, and sociocultural inclinations, and come together to rebuild our nation. For the microscopic few who may have been convinced to lie in wait in order to inherit the failures highlighted herein, my hope for you is that you have a rethink and reposition yourself in a more noble path in history.
Happy Democracy Day Nigeria 🇳🇬👊🏼