The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has urged the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to declare June 12, the day a remarkable free and fair election was held in the country, as Democracy Day.
Infusing light to the forgone, the late Moshood Abiola was declared winner of the presidential election that was held on the said date, but was annulled by the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
The Director of the group, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a statement maintained that, ” the progressives who constituted the opposition before and who controlled states in the South-West had always marked their own Democracy Day on June 12. They are the heroes of the June 12 revolution. Also, since the slogan and driving force of the new political dispensation is ‘Change’ and it was on that basis that Nigerians voted for the Buhari-Osinbajo combination, it is only proper that the ‘Change’ begins to manifest from an official recognition of June 12 as our Democracy Day.”
Read full statement below:
June 12, 1993 will remain sacrosanct in the annals of Nigerian history. It was the day Nigerians from all walks of life voted for Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, presidential candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party.
That election was the fairest and most peaceful ever held in Nigeria as there were no incidents of violence, ballot box snatching or allegations of rigging. Yet an infinitesimally tiny cabal comprising senior military officers in the then ruling military government and a handful of civilian turncoats ganged up to annul the election even after it was clear from the results announced so far that Chief M. K. O. Abiola had won the election.
That annulment turned Nigeria into a pariah nation as the West slammed economic sanctions on the country. Peace also eluded us for several years as civil unrest reigned supreme. Democracy was eventually restored when the military handed over to a civilian regime on May 29, 1999. But the fifth columnists were still able to influence government’s policies as the latter declared May 29 of every year as Democracy Day. Nigeria has since been marking its Democracy Day on May 29 of every year.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hereby calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) to take steps to correct this anomaly by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day throughout Nigeria. May 29 is a monumental fraud. It is an attempt to rewrite the history of this great country. June 12 is Nigeria’s date with destiny. It is the plain truth. Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto said, “The greatest weapon is truth”. We therefore urge FG to stand by that truth.
We hinge our position on the fact that the progressives who constituted the opposition before and who controlled states in the South-West had always marked their own Democracy Day on June 12. They are the heroes of the June 12 revolution. Also, since the slogan and driving force of the new political dispensation is ‘Change’ and it was on that basis that Nigerians voted for the Buhari-Osinbajo combination, it is only proper that the ‘Change’ begins to manifest from an official recognition of June 12 as our Democracy Day.
The present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has a lot in common with the June 12 phenomenon. Just as June 12, 1993 marked the day Nigerians sank their tribal and religious differences to vote for MKO, the man in whom they had faith, Nigerians closed their eyes to ethnicity and creed and voted for ‘Change’ on March 28, 2015.
FG must therefore give Nigerians the ‘Change’ it promised them, the ‘Change’ they are yearning for. That ‘Change’ is to declare June 12 as Democracy Day and to jettison May 29.
Finally, MURIC posits that May 29 as Democracy Day was a military imposition concocted to spite the MKO revolution which is deeply rooted in June 12. We therefore charge FG to sow the wind of ‘Change’ by allowing the GENERAL WILL to take its due course. June 12 is the date of truth and transparent honesty. It is the date of ‘Change’, the date of destiny. On June 12 we stand.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)