Nigerians ready to re-enact spirit of June 12 –Tinubu
… It is a watershed, says Amosun
National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said the spirit of June 12 is alive and thriving and that it will propel the process that will produce free and fair elections come 2015.
This is as Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has described the June 12, 1993 presidential election, won by the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as a watershed. Tinubu, one of the leaders of the June 12 struggle, while describing it as Nigeria’s beacon in the dark, said the thirst for change is thick in the air and millions of Nigerians desperately want their votes to count in the next round of elections.
He said: “June 12 remains indelibly etched in our memory, though it stands as a ringing indictment to the military and their civilian travellers, who conspired against the wishes of millions of Nigerians.
“Because what happened on June 12 is deep rooted and genuine, the spirit behind it has refused to die”.
This pervading spirit of patriotic zeal, Tinubu insisted, has reached a critical mass, powerful enough to propel the engines of change and the demand for a truly free and fair elections.
He maintained that the core of the June 12 elections was the transparency and the free and fair nature the election held, adding that 20 years after, Nigerians deserve no less.
“The quality of our elections in the past few years, has not attained the quality and transparency that surrounded the conduct of the June 12, 1993 elections”.
He stated: “The symbol of June 12 and Nigeria’s Icon of Democracy, Chief Kashimawo Abiola, gave to Nigeria a truly fine moment in history and taught us the lesson that Nigeria has all it takes to get it right and be great.
“But, we failed to recognise his mandate and heed the message of his victory at the poll.
“Rather, we rushed to crucify him and stifle the message of democracy for which he made great sacrifices.
”Since June 12, we have struggled to reach the level of democratic quality experienced that moment”.
Amosun, on his own, stressed that the June 12, 1993 election was adjudged internationally as the “freest and fairest election to have ever been conducted in Nigeria.”
The governor spoke on Wednesday in Abeokuta during the 2013 Democracy Walk to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1993 poll. Amosun, according to a statement by his media aide, Funmi Wakama, said Nigerians across ethnic and religious divides turned out in millions to vote for M.K.O. Abiola in the 1993 presidential election.