By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has described the declaration and recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day as a tribute to courage, saying it is symbolic of Nigerians’ collective resolve to set aside their sentiments and speak as one people to achieve a collective vision even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions.
He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for actualising what he termed “long yearnings of the people,” adding that June 12 is a reminder that Nigerians have what it takes to defend their democracy.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, to mark the June 12 anniversary, the first since the declaration of the day as Democracy Day, the governor said “the acknowledgment of June 12 as Democracy Day is a tribute to courage. I, therefore, extend deep gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for actualising the long yearnings of the people for the recognition of the day they freely gave their mandate to a candidate of their choice, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, in an election regarded worldwide as the freest election in Nigeria.
“June 12 is symbolic of our collective resolve to set aside our differences and sentiments and speak as one people to achieve our collective vision even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions. It is a reminder that we have all it takes to defend our democracy.”
Describing post-June 12 1993 as Nigeria’s longest democratic experience, Oyetola noted that the mere fact that it has endured for over two decades and still counting is an indication that Nigerians are “on the path of interminable democracy, enduring good governance and sustainable development.”
Relaying the Osun democratic experience in the last 21 years, Oyetola said the State has adopted democratic tenets in all it does, as the government is carrying the people along in formulating policies and ensuring that the dividends of democracy are distributed equitably in all the sectors across the State of Osun.
He paid glowing tributes to the State’s legislature and the judiciary for extending their hands of fellowship and cooperation to the executive without comprising their independence and integrity.
The governor also thanked the people of the State for their support, noting that their cooperation contributed largely to the modest achievements the administration has so far recorded in the last 18 months in health, education, infrastructure, mining, agriculture and security among other sectors.
“The modest landmarks our State has achieved in the last 18 months are as a result of the unflinching support and cooperation of YOU the People. I thank you immensely for your remarkable support and cooperation.
“We are resolved as an Administration to continue to build institutions, make development-oriented and people-oriented policies and consult widely to grow democracy for our collective good and posterity,” Oyetola added.