President Bola Tinubu has told Nigerians not to take Nigeria’s democracy for granted.
Tinubu made the call in his first democracy day speech on Monday morning, June 12 since assuming office on May 29th.
He asked Nigerians to jealously guard the democracy they enjoy today.
He argued that people can never appreciate the freedoms and rights that democracy guarantees them until they lose it.
The president, who has for long been an advocate/fighter for democracy said, “The point is that we must never take this democracy for granted. We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel. For, a people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it.
“We have traversed the dark, thorny path of dictatorship before and those who experienced it can readily testify to the unbridgeable gap between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation and degradation of tyranny. True, rancorous debates, interminable wrangling, ceaseless quarrels, bitter electoral contestations may be perceived by some as unattractive features of democracy. But they also testify to its merit and value.
“This year, we held the seventh in the cycle of elections that have become sacred rituals of our democratic practice in this dispensation since 1999.”
President Tinubu paid glowing tributes to Chief MKO Abiola, the supposed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
He also acknowledged the sacrifices of Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, and General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd), who he argued fought for democracy but were unfortunately silenced by the military junta at the time.
“We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled. He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defense of the ideals of democracy as symbolized in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President. There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power. To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no. He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.
“Everyday, on this day, down the ages we will recall the several other heroes of democracy such as Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Abiola, who was brutally murdered while in the trenches fighting on the side of the people. We remember Pa Alfred Rewane, one of the heroes of our independence struggle, and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd) who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy. They gave their yesterday for the liberty that is ours today,”
“For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal,” president said.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has set up a committee to recover all looted government property by the immediate past government.