June 12 underpins Nigeria’s long collective journey to nationhood, says Obi
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in this year’s general elections, Peter Obi, has described June 12 as justification for Nigeria’s long collective journey to nationhood.
In a statement, he noted: “Today is June 12, marked in our dear country as Democracy Day. It is a historic day that deserves to be celebrated.
“On this day in 1993, we, the people of Nigeria, stated our unreserved preference for true democracy.
“Though under military rule, we freely chose a transparent voting method. Our votes reflected our true choice as a people. Our choice on that day defied divisions of ethnicity, religion and region.
“All these qualities added up to make June 12 special in our search for true democracy.
“Our collective choice of the late Chief M. K.O. AbIola as a worthy leader for the nation was saluted by Nigerians, governments and peoples across the world.
“Therefore, June 12 underpins our long collective journey to nationhood as a true democracy.”
He, however, deplored the current politicking, stating: “Our democracy is deeply troubled while our nation’s destiny remains uncertain and precarious. We remain a nation in search of solutions to too many basic problems.
“One of these is the search for a credible electoral system that would command trust, confidence and belief of all Nigerians just like June 12 did.”
Obi advised authorities to use the occasion to engender true virtues of a truly democratic nation.
He continued: “In the spirit of June 12, therefore, we need to emplace an electoral system that commands the trust of the people. This is in recognition of the tenets and core values of democracy, which rest on respect for wishes of the people, as expressed in their ballots.”
“Above all, government must respect and protect institutions of democratic state by respecting the social contract with the people and meeting their needs, obeying their wishes and fulfilling responsibilities of responsible governance as contained in the Constitution.
“A cardinal responsibility of government in this regard is respect for the rule off law.
“Regrettably, we are now in an era where these foundational pillars of democracy are undermined by prevalent impunity, violence and bloodletting.
“The trust deficit between the leaders and Nigerians continues to expand. The deficit of trust and efficiency in our last elections demonstrates this malady quite boldly.”
The former Anambra State governor added: “The challenge of June 12 and a dedicated Democracy Day is to inspire us to correct errors of our recent elections. This is the surest way to restore the confidence of our people in the future of our nation and promise of true democracy.”
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