A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, said it is not enough to declare June 12, Democracy Day. He stated that while it is celebratory and commendable the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, June 12 encapsulates and symbolises the struggle to find solutions to many national problems.
Atiku, in a statement, said the significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993 presidential election is a reminder of Nigeria’s history to becoming a democratic country.
According to him, on that day being 26 years ago, Nigerians voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism. He said the collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandize the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy.
He explained that the choice of democracy was to restore power to the people. Atiku said, “Suffice it to state that the idea of June 12 is not merely to declare it as a Democracy Day – much as celebratory and commendable it might seem, the idea behind the event of June 12 1993 embodies something much more bigger than that. “It was a threshold moment in our national life that demands of us as democrats to do a soul searching and ask the salient question of all time: how better off are Nigerians?
“It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights.”
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in February election stated that it is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty. He added that it is not enough when Nigeria is now perceived as the global headquarters of extreme poverty.