Abuja, June 12, 2019
Chief (DR) Mike Okibe Onoja CON, the senatorial candidate of Social Democratic Party for Benue South senatorial district in the 2019 election celebrates the resilient, courage and commitment of Nigerians over the last two decades as the country marks her democracy day.
Chief Onoja says this on Wednesday in Abuja, adding that the contributions of Nigerians to the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy were tremendous.
“As a nation, we have passed through hurdles, we have swim along the turbulent rivers and endured in the presence of ravaging storm.
“Yet, we are waxing stronger, as a people and as a country we understand that there’s a lot of work to be done in all sectors including economy, security, infrastructure, education, and host of others however, a lot has been done and more will be done to improve on them, he said.
He congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the newly elected President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on the Democracy Day.
He noted that while Wednesday is a special and memorable day, the main celebrants are Nigerians from different backgrounds irrespective of party affiliation.
This, he said, is especially so because on this day in 1993, Nigerians shared the same value of entrenching democracy in the country which could not come to pass for some reasons.
He enjoined Nigerians to use the opportunity of the celebration of the maiden Democracy Day to seek for unity among themselves and to continue to pray for the peace and development of the country thereby keeping hope alive.
Democracy Day in Nigeria is being celebrated on June 12 in 2019 for the first time.
The change carries heavy symbolism for the country because it had known more years of being ruled by military men than by democratically elected leaders.
Historically he said, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Democracy Day Bill into law on June 10, the law specifies that June 12 now replaces May 29, which was introduced in 1999 as the official Democracy Day.
By this piece of legislation, the new date will also be recognised as a national public holiday by the Federal Government thereafter.
Following the signing of the law, May 29 would only be marked as a day for handover and inauguration of new governments in the country.
June 12, 1993 marked the return of democracy in Nigeria, the day carries huge significance for older Nigerians.
This, is especially so, because it was on this date in 1993 that presidential elections were held for the first time since the 1983 military coup.
The June 12 1993 Presidential election in the view of many is still the freest, fairest and most peaceful election ever held in Nigeria.
On that day, Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious, class, and regional background, thronged out to elect their president with the hope of ending military dictatorship in Nigeria.
The euphoria was however, short-lived as the results of the election were never released.
But unofficial results gathered from various polling stations by civil society groups across the country, indicated broad national support for the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
Abiola was a businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Yoruba Egba clan, despite his popularity and the turnout of electorate, the elections stalled.
The then Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, decided to annual the results of the election.
He justified the annulment on the grounds that it was necessary to save the nation, alleging that political activities preceding the election were inimical to peace and stability in Nigeria.
Share your story with for publication