Why #June12 should be Democracy Day – Orji Kalu, Gani Adams, Odumakin - Full Gist News

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Why #June12 should be Democracy Day – Orji Kalu, Gani Adams, Odumakin




Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday gave reason why the federal government should declare June 12 Democracy Day.

He spoke during an event to mark the 1993 election, believed to have been won by late MKO Abiola, organised by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Lagos.

June 12 Abiola

“The Democracy Day celebration should not be on May 29 but, on June 12. That date should be the symbol of fairness, equity and obedience to the rule of law because unfortunately, most of our security agencies have taken the law into their hands instead of allowing the law to take its course”, Kalu said.

“No matter what you say about our Judiciary, I have been to many countries in Africa and I can
confidently say ours is the best. We should not because of a few bad people say that the entire judiciary is bad.

“As a state governor, we went to court 15 times against the federal government and we won 13 times. Is it not the same judiciary that ruled in our favour? I call on the federal government to learn to obey the laws of the court, no matter how frivolous they are.

“These are the ideals Abiola died for. We have to protect our institutions; Nigeria is our country and we cannot run away from it. The country is in need of assimilation, healing and the right democratic ethos.

“People have a right to do anything that they want, but do not have the right to carry arms. In countries like The Gambia, you would not know the difference between a Muslim and a Christian, but, Nigeria is drifting because of quarrel and strife. I am a Catholic, but, I have always taken part in Ramadan.

“The governors have their club, so does the political elite and they are usually united in pushing forward their agenda, but, in the end, if the masses do not stick together by pushing their own agenda through the ballot box, they are the ones who will suffer.”

In his speech, OPC National Coordinator, Gani Adams, who stated that June 12 will always be Democracy Day, lamented that those who benefitted from the struggle have forgotten Abiola and his mandate.

His words: “June 12 and will remembered by those who have defied the culture of silence and conspiracy against a significant moment in Nigeria’s history, to remind us of how today, 24 years ago, the battle against the exit of the military from power was fought at the ballot by a determined Nigerian people.

“It is sad that, apart from the South West states, there has been indifference to the June 12 phenomenon by the federal government and the rest of Nigeria. That election was adjudged to be free, fair and peaceful, but the military government led by Ibrahim Babangida, played games with the transition to civilian rule.

“It chose not to announce the final results of the election. That singular act was seen by many as a coup against the Nigerian people and an act of brazen injustice.

“It is sad today that those who benefitted most from Abiola’s martyrdom do not want to be reminded of him. Those who used to talk about injustice have since, given opportunity, inflicted their own injustice on the people.

“Those who used to swear by Abiola’s name have since found new political patrons. Those who proclaimed Abiola as the symbol of democracy and the rallying point for the people’s hopes have since been dancing on his grave.

“It is unfortunate that Nigeria forgets too soon, for when the Jonathan administration tried to address this injustice by naming a significant national institution after Abiola, the attempt resulted in controversy and a storm.

“Jonathan had renamed the University of Lagos after Abiola, but, the students and staff trooped to the streets, in protest. Politics and opportunism was read into the gesture and government had to eat the humble pie.”

Human rights activist, Dr. Joe Odumakin, added her voice to calls for the date to be officially recognized by the federal government.

“It is very delightful to know that the spirit of June 12 is still alive. When Kalu was the governor of Abia state, he was the first person to declare a public holiday to commemorate June 12 and we commended him for that.

“I join by voice to other patriotic Nigerians who demand that June 12 be declared the Democracy Day for Nigeria because it symbolises the promotion of positive ideals and national integrity,” she said.



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