Tinubu Restates Significance of June 12 as Democracy Day

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Bola Tinubu

Urges Nigerians to support Buhari’s second term

Martins Ifijeh

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has appraised Nigeria’s democratic evolution, saying as important as it is, May 29 does not carry the weight of significance attached to June 12 in the country’s democracy

This is even as he called on Nigerians to support the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the administration was investing massively in the renewal and expansion of infrastructure and social intervention programmes aimed at uplifting the vast majority of Nigerians from dehumanising poverty, political instability and insecurity.

In a special message he personally signed to mark June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day, the former Lagos State governor said the country’s commemoration of May 29 of every year since the democratic restoration of 1999 was only a day of hand-over of power from the military regime to the elected civilian administration.

“As important as it certainly is, May 29 does not carry the weight of significance that June 12 does in Nigeria’s democratic evolution. May 29 is at best an arbitrary date on which the military chose to hand over the reins of power to an elected civilian government in 1999,” he said.

In the statement titled ‘June 12: The Truth that Sets Democracy Free in Our Land,’ the APC leader said observing May 29 as Democracy Day delinked the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the forced exit of the military in 1999.

According to him, “without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.”

He urged Nigerians not to take the democracy enjoyed today for granted or do anything to threaten its existence, explaining that it was not won on a peaceful and comfortable platter of gold.

Tinubu said: “The power of truth to set men free from the limiting chains of falsehood and superstitions is one of the most poignant spiritual verities that has proven to be valid across time and space over the last two millennia.

“In the realm of politics, the most fundamental truth that man has discovered is that power can be the hand-maiden of progress and accelerated development only if it flows from the will of the electorate as determined in regular, free, fair and credible elections.

“This is why, in spite of its many flaws and failings, man is yet to invent a form of government superior to democracy – the famed government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is thus understandable and indeed justified that Nigerians are elated that the country has recorded 20 years of unbroken democratic rule since 1999.”

While thanking President Buhari and the National Assembly for assenting to the Bill on June 12, he said the country was for the first-time celebrating democracy as a nation on a historic day, which he said coincides with the day the seed of today’s democratic sprouting was sown 26 years ago.