Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, has described June 12 1993 annulled election as the most defining moment in Nigeria’s history,saying the struggle to free Nigerians from the shackles of bondage will continue until the country is restructured into federating units
Adams, in a statement on Thursday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, expressed joy that part of the dreams of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) under his leadership, has been realized with the celebration of June 12 as the authentic democracy day.
The Yoruba leader, however, regretted that despite the sacrifices of the activists and pro democracy groups, democracy is yet to take its root in Nigeria.
He expressed hope that Nigeria can only get it right with true federalism, pointing out that the only way out of the political logjam is to let the federating states develop at their own pace.
“When the federating units are allowed to develop at their own pace, there will be mutual benefits and progress. The federating states will be geared towards achieving the best for the people at the grassroots. This is possible when there is healthy competitions among the federating units. The issue of security and state police would be taken care of without fair or favour. That is how it is in other climes where democracy thrives”
“It is good that our democracy is evolving, but sadly, it is not yet Uhuru because this is not the kind of democracy we fought for during the June 12 struggle. It is far different from what we are seeing now”. “The struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate given freely to the late MKO Abiola in a free and fair election then was a long, hard battle to survive the military onslaughts”
Iba Adams went down the memory lane, saying :”Those of us that are alive today still remember those moments with a lot of regrets, and surprises. We think of how we are able to survive those trying periods. The journey for this democracy has been a tourtous journey. Today, our democracy is at best, one step forward and five steps backward. But in all, we thank God that we are still alive to tell the story”.
“We got it wrong right from the outset. We got it wrong with leadership.Nigeria has been crippled by bad leadership.
This has always been our problem. All our leaders have lost touch with the people at the grassroots, that is why we must continue to press for justice until we get the best for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Aare Adams, also said the lesson of June 12 election is, indeed, for a lifetime for everybody, stressing that no matter how long the long arm of lies persist, truth will one day prevails.
“It takes 27 years after the brutal annulment of the freest and fairest election for the Federal Government to honour and recognize the late MKO Abiola and several Nigerians that paid the supreme price”, he said.
Aare Adams admitted that, though, the Corona virus global pandemic has restrained the Oodua Peoples Congress(OPC) from celebrating the annual June 12 symposium, the group remains the only formidable group that has been celebrating the June 12 anniversary since 2001.
“To the glory of God, OPC has been a vocal voice requesting for the authentication of June 12 as the official democracy day. So, whether our effort is being recognized today or not, it is on record that we are part of the success stories of this democracy.”,he said.