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Democracy Day: Demolish sectarian fences, build bridges, Abiodun urges Nigerians



• Akeredolu Seeks Restructuring To Immortalise Abiola
• Gov Diri Dares Buhari On Grazing Routes

Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has said that the best way for Nigerians to immortalise and celebrate the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and June 12, is to build bridges and demolish sectarian fences.

Abiodun stated this yesterday in his speech during the 2021 Democracy Day celebration, held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The governor, who said Nigerians could not afford to bring down the country or show despair in its future, noted that the supreme price paid by the late Abiola and his mandate should serve as a reminder that Nigerians are stronger together as a Nation.


He said that “until Nigerians embrace the essence of the MKO persona, internalise belief in self, faith in a united country and other initiatives that help to engender a sense of shared heritage amongst Nigerian people, we will continue to be a country in search of Nationhood.”

In Akure, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, reiterated the need to make the people’s welfare the epicentre of the nation’s democracy, saying a “beneficial system must take, seriously, the issue of mobilising the mass of the people to create wealth.”

While delivering his keynote address on the 28th anniversary of the annulment of June 12 presidential election presumably won by late Chief MKO Abiola, he said his manifestoes hinged on ending poverty and creation of prosperity for Nigerians. While noting that Democracy Day is a symbolic revalidation of better life for the masses, he said stated that, “deliberative governance, structured for service, must reflect the yearnings and aspirations of the people in its policies. The welfare of the people must be at the centre of all governmental activities.”

“The people deserve a better deal from the political class. A political system, which excludes the majority and protects the few, should be jettisoned. Any arrangement, which allows only a negligible minority control the commanding heights of the economy to the detriment of the many is grand larceny,” Akeredolu said.

In Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Governor Douye Diri while noting that Nigeria had come a long way with 22 years of uninterrupted civilian rule said though “it had not been smooth but it is worth celebrating.”

Diri, however, dared President Muhammadu Buhari on his intent to revive cattle grazing routes across the country, saying there were no such routes in the state.

He explained that although he was not countering the Federal Government’s decision to resuscitate grazing routes, his administration had put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing and movement of cattle on foot as it could not afford to expose its citizenry to the looming danger. He also emphasised that the southern governors had adopted the same position on the issue as part of measures to check farmers/herders clashes across the country.

Abiodun further urged Nigerians to push all negative and divisive forces and policies on the back-foot and embrace the symbolism of June 12, saying, “let us join hands to make Nigeria work for all.”

Such unity, according to the governor, will end all quest for self-determination and other sectarian agitations, and calm frayed nerves.

“June 12 represents what will strengthen the country’s unity, indivisibility and oneness.
Therefore, we must not forget that, as individuals, we can also change the course of history, like MKO did, even at this point in time. We must all note that each and every one of us, our actions and inactions, will either propel the country or fuel the already tensed situation.


“Our country should rise and fulfill its full potentials in the comity of nations. We should not limit that mandate and success to 1993. We must ensure that the hope is kept alive. We cannot afford to bring down our country or show despair in our future. Truly, Nigeria shall rise again,” Abiodun stated.

He, however, emphasised that Ogun has continued to show serious interest in Nigeria’s unity because its indigenes have made the greatest contributions, sacrifices for the unity, oneness and solidarity of Nigeria.

The governor declared that his administration would continue to focus on the individual prosperity of the people and continued socio-economic development of the state, in line with what MKO Abiola offered and preached, which earned him the mandate of the good people of Nigeria in 1993.

Abiodun pointed out that Abiola’s campaign programme of ‘Farewell to Poverty’ is akin to his administration’s ‘Building our Future Together Agenda’, which is being executed through I.S.E.Y.A mantra.

“We will continue to be fair, just, equitable, accountable, open, transparent, inclusive and obey the rule of law. It is part of our forward and deliberate approach to saying a ‘Farewell to Poverty’ two years down the line. I am proud to say that we are a promise keeping administration. We have either fulfilled or are fulfilling all our electoral promises. We have rekindled the hope of our people in their own government and continued to make them the essence of governance. That is the essence of democracy as preached and pursued by MKO Abiola,” the governor submitted.


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