Sunday, June 9, 2013

Declare June 12 Democracy Day – SANs


Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali and John Baiyeshea, have called on the Federal Government to declare June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria.
In separate telephone interviews with our correspondent on Saturday, they stated that June 12 was symbolic to democracy in the country.
They added that the winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, late Moshood Abiola, who was the symbol of Nigeria’s democracy struggle, should be immortalised.
Ali, who is also chairman, Anti-Corruption Commission, Nigerian Bar Association, said June 12 was a defining moment for Nigeria’s democracy.
He urged the political class to serve the people well and deliver dividends of democracy as a veritable way to immortalise Abiola who sacrificed a lot for the people.
“I think we should turn June 12 to democracy day.  We should forget May 29 and make June 12 Democracy Day.  That is the date that defines the current dispensation of Nigeria.  It is a defining moment for democracy.
“Another way to immortalise MKO is for the political class to get together and serve the people that voted them into office rather than serve themselves,” Ali said.
Baiyeshea said the awareness and clamour for the declaration of June 12 as a democracy day was getting high.
He said, “No matter how we pretend about it, no matter how those in authorities pretend about it, it has become a watershed for democracy in this country.
“And I know that sooner or later, we would get to a stage where June 12 will become a nationally recognised holiday or the day will be declared to immortalise Abiola who is the symbol of democratic struggle in Nigeria. I know the time is coming very soon. I support the declaration of June 12 as a democracy day.”
Abiola was the winner of June 12 1993 presidential election.  The election was however annulled by the then ruling military junta under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Abiola, who was arrested on June 23, 1993, later died at the age of 60 on July 8, 1998 under the regime of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

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