Why annulment of June 12 should be recognised as treasonable felony, by Musa
In this Interview with SAXONE AKHAINE in Kaduna, former governor of Kaduna State and leader of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa spoke on June 12 declaration and said that a mere declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day is not sufficient. Rather, he tasks President Buhari to identify and bring those behind the annulment to book by charging them for treasonable felony. Excerpts:
The Federal Government has adopted June 12 as Democracy Day instead of May 29. What is your take on this?
Not only that; it has also brought out its support for the June 12 struggle, because it has not recognised the June 12 as a legitimate struggle and for Abiola having won the elections, it definitely wouldn’t have declared June 12 Democratic Day. These are the two things. Declaring June 12 as Democracy Day and also declared indirectly that June 12 actually took place. And that June 12 is an election won by MKO Abiola. And that the struggle to actualise June 12 was legitimate.
June 12 as opposed to May 29 is Democracy Day. Has it really changed matters or made any difference in the struggle for true democracy in Nigeria as envisaged by those who struggled for the June 12?
Yes. Let me deal with the first aspect. Has it changed matters? It has changed matters. Those in power today, up to the time
President Muhammadu Buhari did what he did, did not recognised that Abiola won June 12 and therefore the struggle against the annulment of June 12 and its actualization as far as for those who were concerned was more unnecessary and a waste of time. Some even thought that it was illegal because the government then had already decided. But he came and said ‘no;’ there was an election on June 12 and Abiola won that election. That forced those in power to recognise that. Secondly, he said the annulment of June 12 was improper and illegal, and unpatriotic. Otherwise, what happened on June 12 and the validation of the struggle; it was generally agreed by Nigerians that June 12 should be the democracy day.
What is left for us who campaigned for the actualization of June 12 and the annulment now is to go further and recognise the annulment as treasonable felony. Therefore, foist an investigation into why it was annulled and who annulled it. We should also know the purpose for the annulment and what should be done to those who committed this treason to make sure that this type of thing does not happen again. And I personally reminded President Buhari that right now that we are talking, we have a problem even more than what we had on June 12. Really, June 12 was a problem of election having taken place and those in power, the military rejecting it in alliance with their civilian counterparts. If we don’t do anything about it now and go further to investigate it and punish those behind the treason, then we can end up with the same problem anytime now.
Because up till date, 2019 elections have taken place and in terms of winning elections, the presidency, governorship and the legislative offices, it is not certain who will lead, whether it is PDP or APC. Because right now electoral tribunals are going on and already in the case of the Senate, the difference between PDP and APC is just four. And that difference may be eliminated by subsequent judgments. The difference between the two parties in the case of the National Assembly is very small. It can be removed one way or the other through the election tribunal. So, we are in a situation now that we are where we are during June 12. To prevent that being repeated now, Buhari should go further include the element of treason against any person or group that subverts democracy. I insist that there must be an investigation first before bringing those that subverted democracy on June 12 to book.
Are you saying that the ghost of June 12 is still haunting Nigeria up till today despite the democratic elections being held in the country?
Yes; it is the ghost of June 12. And it will continue to haunt us if we don’t get things right. I am warning Nigerians about it otherwise it will repeat itself. Imagine, somebody will turn up in spite of the fact of decision of the tribunal and despite the reality on ground and say we don’t recognise the declared president, whether it is Buhari who already has been declared or someone else. To avoid this kind of problem, those responsible for the annulment of June 12 must be found out and punished accordingly so that it doesn’t happen again.
It can happen again, again and again. And the negative state of the nation can continue. It has been going on since the annulment of June 12 till today. You can see that because of this negative state of the nation, instead of Nigeria being the fifth most advanced country in the world, the position that Britain now holds, Nigeria continues lagging behind and she will continue to be problem child of Africa and of the world. We don’t want that to happen. It is possible that we become the most developed country in the world. It is possible because we have the human and economic resources.
You are one of those who fought for the struggle for the actualization of June 12. What lessons do you think Nigerians must have learnt as a result of the annulment and the struggle for democratic enthronement in the country?
You see, Nigerians, as a result of the annulment, must continue the democratic struggle in the country until victory is achieved. Yes, we will continue with the protracted struggle. And what I mean by that is that when we win three steps forward we lose one step backward, which is progress. In Nigeria, democracy is an ideal that has not been practicalised. You see, democracy is the supremacy of the people. And this is the condition which exists after a free, fair and democratic elections. A situation in which the voter decides the faith of a political party. If that is the description of democracy, then we don’t have that yet in Nigeria. We have no democracy yet; we have democratic aspirations. We have regular elections, constitution and set up laws. Yes, all these are existing, but yet we don’t have genuine democracy in the country. What we have today is a mere civilian rule instead of military rule. A civilian rule which is even worse than a military rule in terms of the state of the nation.
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