…Says it Will Promote Peace And Unity In The Country
By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has said that the declaration of June 12 as democracy day by Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government was an affirmation that the present administration believes in the promotion of peace and unity in the country.
Oyetola stated this on Wednesday at June 12 Democracy Day Celebration organised by the state government in conjunction with the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Osun State titled “The State Of Insecurity In Nigeria And Challenges Of National Questions- (The Way Forward).”
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor Benedict Alabi, said: “Our President has done us proud. He has set a new agenda for socio-economic transformation of the country.
“The declaration of June 12 is an affirmation of the fact that the present administration believes so much in things that can promote unity and peace.
“This is a period of sober reflection on the selfless service and sacrifice made by our heroes to ensure that we remain united and indivisible as a nation.
“As we are celebrating the maiden Democracy Day, we must do everything possible to strengthen the peaceful coexistence and unity of the Nigerian nation.
“As a state government, we are doing everything possible to nip in the bud any form of criminality in the state.
“We are working round the clock to improve on the security architecture so as to make our security agencies more efficient and productive”, he said.
Delivering the lecture, the state Head of Service, Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade said: “For us to put many of our challenges behind us, we have to fight poverty, corruption among others.
“There must be a scientific war against crime. We must develop modern way of fighting insecurity in the country.
“We need attitudinal change to the way we do things as a nation and as Nigerians. We need to go back to drawing board. It is time to adopt 1962 Constitution that gives room for true federalism and referendum in democratic setting.
“We need a drastic change on the school curriculum, we need to go back to farm to enhance our production capacity as to the need for us to produce what we will eat locally and much for exportation.
“We must do much to enhance our capacity in mining, vocational and technical education and lot more.”
An activist, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, described the President’s decision on June 12 as unprecedented, memorable and significant in the history of Nigeria, saying the administration had set a good precedent and written its existence on the sand of time.
“We thank President Buhari for stepping on toes and for the courage to declare today as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
“Without June 12, there can’t be what we are celebrating today as democracy, and June 12 symbolises genuine Democracy Day in Nigeria.
“We are grateful today that late Chief MKO Abiola did not die in vain.
“In the recognition of this, we appeal to Mr President to declare MKO Abiola as a former president and accord him the status, recognition and entitlements deserved”.
Also speaking, Comrade Waheed Lawal called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (then National Electoral Commission) to declare the results of the 1993 election.
Lawal while corroborating Amitolu asked President Muhammad Buhari to declare late Chief Moshood Abiola, and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as ex-president and former vice-president respectively.
His words: “This is the first time since the history of our struggle for actualisation of this historic date in our national history as a people that the Government will be celebrating June 12.
“This is a very momentous day that we can never be quick to forget, because of its democratic significance as a day Nigerians defied every devisive tendencies to elect Bashorun MKO Abiola as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a mass accepted, free, fair and transparent Presidential election on June 12,1993.
“We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the people of Nigeria, civil societies, human rights and other pressure groups for sustaining the tempo of agitation for a national recognition of this day as democracy day in Nigeria. But for the people and their determination never to give up even in the face of jackboot dictatorship, the Federal Government’s recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day may remain impossible. We, therefore congratulate Nigerians who are the real winners.
“We equally wish to appreciate President Muhamadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for aceding to the echoes from the street with this long awaited recognition and honour to Bashorun MKO Abiola. History will record this patriotic and heroic move in your favour.
“It is, however, important to state that it is not yet huruhuru; as a Nation, we must take a step further by officially declaring the result of the election while former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida and other dramatis personae are still living to properly situate the history and complete the records for this present generation of Nigerians and that of the future.”
Earlier in the morning, a procession march to commemorate the day took off from Ayetoro Junction and traversed major streets. It terminated at the Aurora Event Centre where the lecture of the day was held.