June 12 declaration will strengthen unity - Lagos lawmakers

Abiola (1)

Chief MKO Abiola: Winner of June 12, 1993 election

Chief MKO Abiola

Some Lagos State lawmakers on Thursday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day would strengthen the nation’s unity.

In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the lawmakers said that the president wrote his name on the sands of time with the declaration.

Mr Tunde Braimoh, the Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Ad hoc Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, described the declaration as an uncommon display of courage, introspection and broad mindedness.

“President Buhari articulated and evaluated the issue before him; he was practical and pragmatic.

“He had a choice to procrastinate on the issue but he chose to rise up to the challenge.

“He wrote his name boldly in gold in the annals of Nigeria’s political evolution,” Braimoh said.

According to him, the declaration might be the most popular and most widely accepted and respected political decision in recent times.

“That singular but important decision of President Buhari portends great hope for the unity of the country and serves as a reassurance to all that the country is one.

“It is portends great hope for the citizenry. It is a great acknowledgement, appreciation and encouragement of patriotism and statesmanship,” he told NAN.

Braimoh said that the president exhibited great judgment, fairness and equity which, according to him, are the forerunners of justice.

“Justice is the forerunner of peace and peace precedes progress. By being fair to all concerned and recognising the sacrifices made by certain individuals and martyrs of the nation, the president has done justice.

“This will in no doubt re-energise the citizenry and rekindle hope. It will promote national rebirth and inculcation of positive attitudes toward attaining the desired altitude,” the lawmaker said.

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Prince Adebisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency I in the House, described the declaration as the best to further unite the country.

“What past presidents could not do, Buhari has done it. It suggests that no matter how hard we try to cover the truth, it will surely come out. This is a declaration of victory,” he said.

Also, Mr Segun Olulade, Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Health Services, said that the president’s decision showed courage.

In a statement he issued in Lagos, Olulade, representing Epe Constituency II, hailed Buhari “for recognising the popular wish of Nigerians expressed on June 12, 1993 and acknowledging the truth behind such historical legacy’’.

“All leaders who have attained exalted position of head of state or president in Nigeria after the June 12 debacle decided to walk down the lesser-glory side of Nigeria’s democratic history,” he said.

Olulade, congratulated Nigerians, the family of the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, civil society groups and student, youth and women movements as well as all rights activists who fought to ensure recognition of June 12.

Mr Dipo Olorunrinu, a PDP lawmaker in the Assembly, also commended the president, but cautioned against politicising the declaration.

Olorunrinu, representing Amuwo-Odofin I, said: “It is a great move but it should not be politicised.”

Buhari on Wednesday announced that June 12 would now replace May 29 as the Democracy Day.

The President also gave posthumous award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) to Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, Presidential Election.

Abiola died on July 7, 1998.