Tears ordinarily should run down the cheeks of those who lost loved ones or are victims of the numerous human rights abuses during the period of June 12 and its many struggles to date. They have through the president’s announcement on Chief MKO Abiola, though sadly too long, been vindicated. Abiola has been given his dues by President Buhari, as one who sacrificed, lived and died for the very principles of social justice and democratic norms to which many ingrates and enemies of his struggles have benefited and called it theirs.
Excellent leadership is a product of three main components; appreciation and the sense of history of the people you govern, will and capacity and lastly foresight and transparency. President Buhari got 100 percent in the appreciation and understanding of the sense of history of Nigerians-the people he so governs. He has “called a spade a spade” at the right time, though this particular ‘spade’ has always been a ‘spade’ even though ignored but it is also an axe on the conscience and psyche of some Nigerians.
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To put the history of Nigeria’s nascent democracy in any perspective while ignoring the significance, place, date and essence of June 12, the insignia of democracy in Nigeria and the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election is “putting the cart before the horse”. How ignoble and lacking in sense of history would it be on this generation if that announcement was not made? How hurting will it perpetually be to the psyche of traumatized relations of victims of June 12 which MKO Abiola is their chief victim? An eternal relief has been given to these victims of human rights abuses by President Buhari.
That presidential announcement has a lot on the psyche of an average Nigerian towards building a patriotic mindset and the outside world because to Nigerians, people who work for Nigeria are always neglected but now, President Buhari has changed the order. The President must note people and martyrs like Adekunle Fajuyi, Kudirat Abiola, Mrs Hafsat Bello, wife of Sir Ahmadu Bello, social crusaders like Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni five, Professor Wole Soyinka, Beko Ransom Kuti, Alfred Rewan, Fela Anikulapo,Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, Obafemi Awolowo, Shehu Musa Yar’dua and others
No matter how long, truth will triumph over injustice but to the outside world Nigeria is momentarily evolving democratic norms.
As Buhari continues to right the wrongs in our society, we must receive the gestures as national needs and not political grounds for propaganda. The question should not be whether he means well or not, the patriotic question should be that of our national needs of righting the wrongs(an overdue aspirations) which he has done.
The choice of May 29, 1999 for the handing over of power by the then military leadership was not a deliberate assault on the significance of June 12 because the exigencies and the regular June 12 tensions of the time appears very reasonable but subsequent ignorance and May 29 observance as Nigeria’s National Democracy Day against June 12 is an unjustified political and democratic aberration leaving the conscience of our successive leadership to the vulnerability of serious questioning and probe.
Mr Akinola Iwilade,