Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Editorial: June 12: Beyond the honours

President Muhammadu Buhari pleasantly shocked most Nigerians on June 1, when out of the blues, he announced the change in Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12, and awarded Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR.

His running mate in the election, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, received the second highest national honour of Grand Commander Order of Niger, GCON, as well as the fiery lawyer and human rights activist, late Chief Gani Fawehenmi. Both Abiola and Fawehinmi received the awards posthumously.

This action of the president was so strategically timed and politically executed that even his political opponents had very little to say against it. June 12 was a watershed in the democratic march of the nation and the forerunner to the present political dispensation of the 4th republic that most Nigerians had been frustrated by the attitude of previous governments not to acknowledge its significance in our history.

Since 1999, only the south west states have been marking the Day in recognition of the sacrifice of Abiola and the struggle to actualize the mandate. By that singular move, President Buhari has taken the initiative and assumed the moral high-ground over people like former president Obasanjo, the immediate beneficiary of June 12, who opposes him his reelection; and IBB, the culprit, who also frowns at his return.

Suddenly all the ground-swell of opposition to his continuing in power has fizzled out replaced with praises and recommendation even from the most unlikely quarters. By that action Buhari has not only divided the ranks of the opposition but surely guaranteed his reelection in 2019.

As a newspaper, we commend the gesture and praise the president for ‘righting the wrongs of our history’ as he put it. We believe that June 12 symbolises all the political ills of the nation and its effective resolution is critical to the survival of democracy in the country. It was the day Nigeria conducted the freest and most credible election which was inexplicably annulled by the military regime that conducted it led by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

The rot in the country and perfidy of democracy being practised today are fallouts of that action; the constitution under which the election held was a far improved version of the 1979 constitution and the people that inherited the present dispensation far more capricious and undignified than those in 1993.

Annulling the election was the worst political action ever taken against the nation; indeed, it is worst than a military coup because coups take place when there is popular agitation against the government in power for whatever reasons, unlike the annulment which was against a popular expression of the people’s will in an election. It was a very retrogressive step, one that the nation may never recover from in this generation.

So recognising the importance of this Day is very positive and instructive. It begins the process of actually healing the wounds and refocusing our attention on its symbolism. But to demonstrate that the move is altruistic and goes beyond reaping political advantage, the president should take it a notch further to revive and restore the slide in national cohesion and quality of governance.

Only a blind person or power irredentist would ignore the crumbling edifice of the nation. Governance has become virtually impossible, political corruption has become a way of life, critical development indices are lacking and the value of life disappearing while simple democratic practice, such as conducting elections has become hazardous.

And the reason in the main is this: The structure of the country is so hierarchical skewed that grass root governance is nonexistent. Democracy is about the people, which invariably is about the grass root. To run a democracy in a large country like Nigeria from the centre is to expect the impossible. Without restructuring this will be the inevitable outcome.

And this has to do with the 1999 constitution. Two constitutional conferences in 2005 and 2014 had been held on the way forward. Democracy and development would be hard to come by in the country if things like elections and census are so contentious and violent in nature, simply because of the premium and high stakes attached to the control of the centre.

This is the real significance of June 12, which Abiola represented, because his campaign slogan was HOPE. Buhari cannot honour Abiola without giving hope to the Nigerian people who voted for him to change their stations in life. Nigeria as it is today is a far cry from the hope Abiola promised and unless Buhari carries out some fundamental reforms in the polity his recognition of Abiola and June 12 will only be a political token to win election and not a statesman’s action to address the basic and fundamental dysfunctions and ills of the nation; this, in our thinking,    would be very sad.

 

 

 

© 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Why NNPC adopted contractors funding contract

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained why it has resorted to contractor-financing of its pipeline and other facilities development in recent times in the Industry. Delivering the Keynote speech at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2018) Tuesday in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that […]

  • Justice Kafarati explains why AMCON failed to recover N5.4trn debt

    The Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati, has said there is a need for judges in Nigeria to support the recovery efforts of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) since the corporation was established as a central element of government’s response to financial crisis in the country.  Justice […]

  • Equity market extends positive sentiment by 0.18%  

    The Nigerian equity market had its second consecutive rally on Friday, gaining 0.18 per cent, buoyed by sustained buy pressure. Sustained positive trading pushed the All Share Index (ASI) up by 59.28 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.18 per cent, to close at 32,540.17 points. The market upturn was on the back of the […]

  •  Why Polaris Bank was set up to take over Skye Bank—NDIC

    FELIX OLOYEDE The need to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds propelled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to establish Polaris Bank to succeed just defunct Skye Bank. NDIC disclosed said this today in a released signed by its Mohammed Ibrahim Head, Communications and Public Affairs, and he promised […]

  • My Mandate Is To Deliver The Ecobank Brand Promise As Platform Of Choice In Nigeria – Akinwuntan

    The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan has reaffirmed that his mandate in Nigeria is to grow the Ecobank brand by delivering it as a brand of choice. The bank Managing Director stated that Ecobank service will be available and within the reach of every Nigerian either in their homes or locality through any […]

  • Experts blame shareholders as CBN revokes Skye Bank’s license

    FELIX OLOYEDE The failure of Skye Bank shareholders to recapitalize the bank, which has been battling with acute liquidity challenges is responsible for the revocation of its operating license of Skye Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), experts have declared. Prof. Joseph Ajibola, former President, Chartered Institute of Banking of Nigeria (CIBN) opined […]

  • Bulls return to stock market, appreciates 0.33%

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The Nigerian equity market on Thursday trended upward, reversing the previous day’s negative sentiment. The bourse gained 0.33 per cent, propelled gains recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks with WAPCO setting the pace. The All Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 105.77 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.33 per cent to […]

  •  Elumelu Foundation to launch world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation has concluded all plans to launch the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem –  TEFConnect. TEFConnect will officially be unveiled at this year’s TEF Forum, taking place on October 25, 2018, at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. Harnessing and building on the success of Africa’s […]

  • NNPC declares 46% trade surplus

    Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has stated on Thursday  that it had trade surplus of about 46 per cent in oil sales in the month of April, 2018. NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement noted that the trade surplus which amount to N17.16 billion was part of the highlight […]

  • 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend to hold in November

    Fashion enthusiasts all over the world will be treated to an unparalleled exposé of Africa’s finest in fashion at the 3rd edition of the GTBank Fashion Weekend, which is bid to hold between  November 10-11, 2018, The two-day event will bring together renowned fashion personalities from around the world and budding small businesses in the […]

  • NDIC hosts IADI Africa Regional Committee AGM

    The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) will host the next edition of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) Africa Regional Committee (ARC) Annual General Meeting and Technical Assistance Workshop. The event which has been scheduled to hold at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos from September, 25th – 27th 2018, would be focusing on Financial […]

  • Ambode 2019: The godfather’s revolt

    By OBINNA EZUGWU As uncertainty continues to hover around the second term bid of Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, following an alleged plot by the state’s political godfather, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to hand the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to the Managing Director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, […]

  • FG to generate N6bn from concession of 20 Silos

    The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the Concessioning of 20 out of its 33 Silos to private sector operators at the cost of N6 billion. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive […]

  • Insurance sector sell-off drags capital market down, loses 0.02%

    The Equity Market on Wednesday shed 0.02 per cent, reversing yesterday’s positive sentiment. The downturn was on the back of the massive sell-off in Insurance stocks among others, which dragged the All Share Index (ASI) down by 5.88 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.02%, closing at 32,375.12 points. The Market Capitalization also dipped by […]

  • Number of extremely poor continues to soar in Sub-Sahara Africa

    Although globally, extreme poverty has rapidly declined, the number of people living in extreme poverty is, however, on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, comprising more than half of the extreme poor in 2015, a new poverty estimates by the World Bank has shown. Forecasts also indicate that by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor […]

  • MAN sets for 46th AGM as Jacobs bows out 

    The Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) has unveiled plans for its 46th Annual General Meeting and Manufacturers Annual lecture/Presidential Luncheon, which is scheduled for  September 26 and 27, 2018 in Lagos. The occasion will also see the outgoing President of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs end his 4-year tenure. The event will play host to […]