A chieftain of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos State, Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, on Wednesday said that declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day should be a day of sober reflection, rather than a day of celebration.
Pearse, the governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2019 general elections, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that democracy had not fared well in the country since the return its in 1999.
According to him, June 12 should be a day of outrage against an attempt to eradicate democracy and not a day of celebration.
“Today, Nigerians should vow and renew their vow to reject the anti-democratic past, present and future leadership as well as ethnocentrism and injustice in our country.”
He stressed the need to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, hunger and injustice, calling for the promotion of rule of law and fundamental human rights for democracy to thrive in the country.
Pearse, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising June 12, 1993 as the National Democracy Day.
On June 10, Buhari signed the Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill into law, an action that endorsed June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.
Earlier on June 6, 2018, Buhari declared that June 12 would now become Democracy Day, instead of May 29.
The date is in commemoration of the annulled presidential election of June 12, 1993, presumed to have been won by late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
The election, adjudged to be Nigeria’s freest and fairest, was, however, annulled by then military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. (NAN).