GOV. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun says only “real democracy” could move Nigeria forward toward progress and earn it the respect it deserves from the international community.
Abiodun made the observation in Abeokuta in his speech at this year’s June 12 celebration.
He, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the service of the nation and continue to remain united and patriotic.
The governor noted that the June 12, 1993 presidential election was Nigeria’s closest link to real democracy and called for a return to the virtues displayed at the poll.
” I am talking about free and fair elections devoid of coercion, expression of voters’ preference in election and respect for electorate as unfettered final arbiter on elections.
“At the elections, we also observed decorum and fairness on the part of the electoral umpires and there was also absolute respect for the rule of law.
“Had we sustained the momentum, perhaps our great nation, Nigeria, would have moved from its Third World status to First World like Lee Kwan Yew’s Singapore,” he said.
Abiodun described June 12, 1993 as a unique date in Nigeria, adding that “there is no day with such national significance like it.”
“This is because in spite of the uniqueness and peculiarities of Nigeria, the election of late Chief MKO Abiola demystified all stereotypes about the so-called centrifugal and centripetal forces.
“June 12,1993 was complete in answering to all the prerequisites which constitute an irreducible minimum for democracy,” he said.
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for conferring the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on late Abiola and choosing June 12 to replace the hitherto May 29 as Nigeria’s proper Democracy Day.
“That the president understood the need to correct the injustice done to a proud son of Ogun and redressed it as a pre-requisite for peace and unity is not only commendable, it is worthy of emulation,” he said.
Abiodun insisted that the best way to immortalise Abiola was to ensure that the ideals that he lived and fought for continued to live even after him.
He said that the country must continue to propagate the evolution of democratic ideals and principles for further development of Nigeria as a nation.
“This has formed the basis for our administration’s unalloyed commitment toward upholding the principles of good governance, inclusiveness, openness, transparency, accountability, fairness, justice, equity and obedience to the rule of law.
“We believe this will in turn engender more contributions from the people to the continued development of our dear state, Ogun,” he said. (NAN)
– Jun. 12, 2020 @ 13:05 GMT |