Democracy Day: 27 Years After June 12 And 21 Years of Democracy -NANS


12 - 06 - 2020

Democracy Day: 27 Years After June 12 And 21 Years of Democracy

Today marks the first anniversary of the celebration of June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day. June 12 will forever be a day of reflection as 27 years ago, Nigerians went to the polls to vote for the candidate of their choice without ethnic or religious bias in an election that was adjudged to be free and fair. Unfortunately, the result of the elections which gave the mandate of Nigerians to Chief MKO Abiola was cancelled by the anti-democratic forces that held our dear country to ransom. It is on record that the cancellation led to a chain reaction of struggles cutting across all sectors and all demographic divisions of the country in a demand for democratic governance. This cumulative struggles paid when democratic government was inaugurated in 1999. It is therefore commendable that the Federal Government made June 12 the democracy day.

However, while we commend the Federal Government, we must, however, state that the ideas for which June 12 stands is beyond just dedicating a day to it; June 12 stands for the yearnings of the average man for good governance, the search for a government that serves their interest irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliations. The struggle for the actualisation of June 12 was a struggle for freedom, a struggle to hold government accountable, freedom of the press and rejection of tyranny.

The herald of democracy despite the early signs of promise has obviously not delivered the dividends Nigerians expected. The average Nigerian is poorer now than in 1999, our infrastructures are deteriorating, unemployment is skyrocketing, our health sector is in comatose and the standard of education has become abysmally low. This is not to say that we have not benefitted from democracy but we must be honest enough to agree that we have performed below expectations. Successive governments have spent trillions of naira on electricity and diversification of the economy with nothing to show for it.

On June 12, 1993, Nigerians stood against ethnic or religious jingoism, tyranny and stiffening of freedom of the press and thought. Unfortunately, these ills are continually on the rise with Nigerians becoming more divided across ethnic and religious lines by the day. No thanks to government policies and a style of politics that has failed to mend the cracks and galvanise Nigerians into a united force for national development. Freedom of speech and press is being clamped down. In fact, those who have been advocates of freedom of speech have become stranglers of it after getting into power.

However, ours as an association is not only to lament on a day like this but rather to proffer solutions and way forwards to ensure that the ideals of June 12 are not lost in the sands of time. Governments across all tiers must get serious with the business of governance and draw out clear policies to aid national development. It is time to dump the reactive government style that has been our hallmark and migrate to a planning style where the government is driven by policies with clear goals to national development which they must be committed to. Nigeria has grossly underachieved compared to her huge potentials and we must, as a matter of urgency and necessity correct this.

We must also strive to unite ourselves and government in collaboration with individuals and demographic groups must strife hard to achieve this. The government must desist from the divide and rule policies which have contributed to the mutual suspicion among religious and political groups.

Furthermore, government must recognise the educational system as a tool to achieve the aforementioned. History is replete with examples of countries whose development was engineered in their educational institutions. Education must be adequately funded so that in the research labs and classes, policies and innovations for national development will be made. We maintain our ground as an association that there is no foreign solution to a Nigerian problem, there can only be a Nigerian solution and this solution won’t be found in Oxbridge or the ivy leagues but in our own institutions, how then do we expect to develop when we starve them of funds?

It is on this basis we call government at all level to massively invest in the educational sector.

Kowe Odunayo Amos
Coordinator, NANS Zone D.

Giwa Yisa Temitope
Secretary-General, NANS Zone D.

Kazeem Olalekan Israel

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