As the 20th anniversary of June 12 draws nigh, human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has berated Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi; late Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti and a host of other activists involved in the June 12, struggle, stating that their selfishness is the cause of the current messy state of affairs in the country.
Keyamo, who stated this in an interview with an online medium, noted that the failure of the activists to take control of the political affairs of the country in 1999 at the inception of the country’s democracy, as was the case in South Africa, where activists in the anti-apartheid movement formed the nucleus of the African National Congress, resulted in the emergence of undemocratic elements in government.
“The June 12 was not managed at all in the post-1999 period. The people who were at the epicenter of June 12 struggle failed to seize power and abdicated their roles for funny characters who came from absolutely nowhere. That is why you can see all forms of undemocratic forces in power today,” he said.
Keyamo stated that the June 12 activists had formed splinter groups where “everybody wanted to project his ego and himself,” ahead of the 1999 return to democratic rule, noting that “our greatest problem were the factions in the ranks of the progressives. Where you had JACON, NADECO, the G34, all kind of groups, there was no unity of purpose. The thing is that they progressives were not prepared for power. This was because our leaders in the progressives had their individual agenda.”
Keyamo further decried a situation whereby people who had never been part of the struggle for democracy, were the ones calling the shots in the country today, stressing that Nigerians had formed the notion that activists could not run government because of the abdication by those who led the struggle during the June 12 days.