Leader of pan-Yoruba group, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Chief Gani Adams, has described the annulment of June 12, 1993, presidential election as one of the most defining moments in Nigeria’s history.
Adams, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Kehinde Aderemi, on Thursday in Lagos, expressed joy that part of the dreams of the OPC, under his leadership, had been realized with the celebration of June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day.
He, however, regretted that despite the sacrifices of the activists and pro-democracy groups, a lot needed to be done for democracy to take firmer roots in the country.
Adams said the country would get better with the better practice of true federalism, adding that federating states should be geared toward achieving the best for the people at the grassroots.
He said this could be achieved through healthy competition among the federating units, including the government at the centre, states, and local councils.
Adams noted that it was good that democracy is evolving, calling for more attention to be paid to deepening democratic norms.
“The struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate given freely to the late MKO Abiola in a free and fair election then was a long and hard battle.
“Those of us that are alive today still remember those moments with a lot of regrets, and surprises,” he said
Adams said most political leaders had lost touch with the people at the grassroots, adding that the lesson of June 12 election was indeed a lifetime for everybody.
“It took 27 years after the brutal annulment of the freest and fairest election for the Federal Government to honour and recognize the late MKO Abiola and several Nigerians that paid the supreme price,” he said.
Adams said the outbreak of COVID-19 had restrained OPC from celebrating the annual June 12 symposium, adding that the group remained the only formidable group that had been celebrating the June 12 anniversary since 2001.
“To the glory of God, OPC has been a vocal voice requesting for the authentication of June 12 as the official Democracy Day.
“So, whether our effort is being recognized today or not, it is on record that we are part of the success stories of this democracy,” Adams said.