AS usual, four South-West states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun declared Friday, June 12 a work-free day as part of the commemoration of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election presumed won by the late Moshood Abiola, a business mogul.
In a statement signed by Habib Aruna, chief press secretary to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Ambode said the date marked a watershed in the annals of transparent, free and fair elections in the country.
He described June 12, 1993, as the day Nigerians voted in one voice across ethnic, racial and religious lines. However, the governor said regrettably, 22 years after the annulment, the Nigerian nation was still grappling with some of the vices which the annulled June 12, 1993, elections sought to eliminate by still clinging to ethnic cleavages.
He urged residents to spend the day in sober reflection and in remembrance of the martyrs of the June 12 elections struggle in prayers for laying the foundation of the democracy which the nation was now enjoying.
Similarly, Oyo State government while declaring the day public holiday in the state, Soji Eniade, head of service in a statement, urged the people of the state to remain steadfast in their prayers for the sustainability of democracy in the state and the country at large.
On its part, Ogun State government through a statement by Taiwo Adeoluwa, secretary to the state government, said the declaration was done to honour the late politician who, according to him, had fought for the democracy currently being enjoyed by the Nigerian people today.
The statement said in part: “Government enjoins residents to spend the day to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the annulled election peacefully, pray for the continued repose of the martyr of democracy, Chief Abiola and general political and socio-economic growth of our country.”
Osun State recognised the day as the day Nigerians united to vote a candidate of their choice without ethnic or religious considerations. A statement signed by Semiu Okanlawon, director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, said Governor Rauf Aregbesola would want Nigerians to reflect on “the significance of the June 12, the sacrifice made by Abiola for all of us to consolidate the current democratic experiment.”
— Jun 22, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT