Sanwo-Olu, Akinrinade, activists advocate good governance, restructuring
Speakers at the maiden Democracy Day with the theme: Democracy and Restoration of True Federalism in Nigeria, have argued that the essence of June 12 will be lost if political leaders fail to make the people the core of governance.
At the event organised by the Lagos State Government yesterday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu maintained that the philosophy behind the day should be continually celebrated by ensuring that elected officers are accountable and all Nigerians treated equally.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, said June 12 would continue to remind Nigerians that free and fair elections were possible and pursuit of justice does not die.
He stated that June 12 shows that there was unity in diversity, saying that if the philosophy behind the day would be accomplished, it would require thinking differently.
Speaking, Chairman of the occasion, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd.) urged the Federal Government to declare herdsmen criminals and called for restructuring, which should result in the creation of local and state police.
He added that the National Assembly should be inaugurated on June 12, while former Governor of Lagos State, Admiral Ndubusi Kalu, argued that Nigeria needed to return to true unity in diversity, especially if it wants to secure the country now or in the future.
Former Lagos Commissioner of Information, Dele Alake, said quality service delivery and eradication of poverty is key to celebration of June 12 because that was what it stood for.
Hamzat urged Nigerians to continue keeping the late Chief MKO Abiola’s wishes in their memories by doing the right things.
In his lecture titled: Hope 93: Democratic Prosperity and Political Stability, Prof. Pat Utomi, urged political office holders and the elite to work together by creating wealth to avert the impending anarchy in the country.
Utomi said that the late Abiola’s ideology was hinged on economic prosperity, good healthcare, education and liberation of all Nigerians.
Also speaking, Bisi Abiola, wife of the late MKO Abiola, thanked the Lagos State Government and civil society organisations for keeping hope alive.
However, a member of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Comrade Wale Osun has renewed the call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
Osun spoke along side other activists as Femi Aborisade, Niran Malaolu and Prof. Sylvester Odion Alkhaine in Abeokuta.
They insisted that it was not enough to declare June 12 Democracy Day but that the country’s leaders should ensure that the people truly enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Meanwhile, son of the late Chief MKO Abiola, Abdulmumuni, has said June 12 should be a day of sober reflection rather than a day of celebration across the country.
He noted that while the democracy day declaration meant a vindication of his late father and other Nigerians who died in the struggle, it should be seen as a barometer to weigh the country’s democracy.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian yesterday, he said June 12, just like the country’s independence should be a day all stakeholders come together to reflect and restrategise on how to move the country forward.