Friday, June 12, 2020 4:17 pm
By Joe Okei-odumakin
June 12, 2020 marks the 27th anniversary of the brazen annulment of a presidential election adjudged both nationally and internationally as the freest, fairest and most peaceful ever held in Nigeria.
Through an election that saw a Muslim-Muslim ticket, depicted by the emergence of the late Chief MKO Abiola and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe of the now-rested Social Democratic Party, SDP, against Alhaji Bashir Tofa and Dr. Sylvester Ugoh of the National Republican Convention, NRC, Nigerians were prepared to say ‘enough is enough’ to military dictatorship and not only made known but also made good their promise with their votes on June 12, 1993.
But, the military regime, then led by General Ibrahim Babangida, on June 23, 1993 shamelessly annulled the people’s mandate. The decision to declare June 12 Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari is acceptable because we had asked for the declaration 27 years ago. Also, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) award given in recognition of MKO Abiola was also long overdue but a right step in the right direction.
Therefore, as we celebrate the heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s democracy; and as Nigeria marks yet another landmark in the history of her democratic watershed, Women Arise and Centre for Change enjoin Nigerians to continue to insist on the following demands: