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‘June 12 should be for mourning, not democracy day’

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A former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya, yesterday argued that it was wrong to recognise June 12 as the country’s democracy day, saying it should instead be tagged a mourning day.

He insisted that rather than approve the day as democracy day, it should be remembered as the day the military truncated democracy in Nigeria.

Eya told The Guardian in Enugu that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recognition of June 12, as democracy day was suspect and aimed at scoring cheap political popularity, especially as he was part of the military that scuttled the June 12, 1993 election that should have produced MKO Abiola as President.

“June 12 should be celebrated. Nigerians should stay indoors on that day and mourn the fate that befell them. This is because the military annulled a free, fair, credible and transparent election midway,” he said.

“Nigerians from all walks of life for the first time voted for a man they knew could work for the country irrespective of his religion. They voted for a Muslim- Muslim ticket.

Eya, who was a former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ekiti State, argued that Buhari may have decided to recognise June 12 to earn support of the South West and spite former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He said Obasanjo was right in accepting May 29 as the country’s democracy day because, that was the day the military finally disengaged from the country’s politics.

Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government has shifted activities of June 12 Democracy Day to Friday June 14.
 
A statement issued by Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, noted: “This to enable governors, including Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to join President Buhari and over 80 foreign leaders and dignitaries at the inaugural national commemoration of the day in Abuja.
 
“What this means is that the event slated for the Metropolitan Square and State Banquet in Ilorin will now hold on Friday, June 14, instead of Wednesday June 12.”
 


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