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June 12: what we celebrate is a return to civil rule – Atiku

Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has lamented that what we celebrate today is a return to civil rule in Nigeria.


Atiku stated this in a Facebook post on his timeline on Monday to mark the 30th anniversary of the June 12, 1993, presidential election won by Bashorun Moshood Abiola but annulled by the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida (retd).

According to him, democracy in the country is still in bondage despite the end of the military administration in 1999.

“As I congratulate Nigerians on this day, in celebration of the return to civil rule, I call our consciousness to the reality that democracy in Nigeria remains in bondage, and it will need the energy of all of us to rescue it.

“On this occasion of Democracy Day, it is time for us to reflect as a people and a country on our journey to becoming a democratic society.

“For Nigerians who were around during the dark days of military dictatorships, it is important that we appreciate the successes that we have achieved in making democracy the norm of politics in Nigeria.

“But democracy without a corresponding commitment to the principles of fairness and fidelity to the rule of play by stakeholders in conducting elections still leaves the people prostrate to dictatorship tendencies,” he said, even as he took a swipe at those, he accused of using their privileged standing in the nation’s political leadership to determine the outcome of electoral contests.

“For our democracy to be fully fledged, it must constantly evolve away from the current practise where the governing elite determines the outcome of elections.

“When I often take stock of the activism that birthed the current democratic dispensation, I am even more convinced that much work still lies ahead.

“Democracy and the process of democratisation are a constant work in progress. While what we celebrate today is a return to civil rule in Nigeria, the desire to make our democracy self-sustaining and independent of anti-democratic elements is the new frontier of participation by all democrats.

“As it requires collective energy and commitment to attain civil rule, it will require a concomitant commitment to advance the cause of democracy and our democratisation process.

“The challenge ahead of us and the future of our democracy will rely heavily on what we do or fail to do today.

“To achieve this noble goal, our commitment to the cause of democracy must be eternal.

“Folks on the other side, enemies of democracy, whom we are up against, are not resting. To defeat them, we must do more,” he added.


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