Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ALL Progressives Congress (APC) leader reflected on the importance of May 29, 1999 and June 12, 1993.
The former Lagos governor, who was one of those at the forefront of the encounter to revalidate the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was void by former military president Gen Ibrahim Babangida, said: “As important as it is, May 29 does not carry the weight of significance that June 12 carries in the country’s democratic sojourn.”
Bola Ahmed Tinubu renowned that observing today as the real Democracy Day has silenced those who applied might and rode roughshod over the people’s mandate given to the late Chief MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) 26 years ago.“the country had been commemorating May 29 since the democratic restoration of 1999, the day of the handover of power from the military regime to the elected civilian administration. He said
The APC leader pointed out. “May 29 is at best an arbitrary date on which the military chose to hand over the reins of power to an elected civilian government in 1999,”
Tinubu did the appraisal in a statement special titled: “June 12: The truth that sets democracy free in our land” to commemorate the maiden celebration of June 12 as Democracy Day.
Tinubu said, rolling out why June 12 carries weight of significance, “Observing May 29 as Democracy Day delinks the country’s democratic experience since 1999 from the protracted and bitter struggle against military dictatorship from June 12, 1993, till the forced exit of the military in 1999.
He further said Without those who stoutly stood on June 12 and sacrificed life, limb, freedom, economic ruin, psychological devastation and more in the battle against tyranny, there would most certainly not have been any May 29, 1999, handover to commemorate.”
According to statement reads: “The power of truth to set men free from the limiting chains of falsehood and limiting superstitions is one of the most poignant spiritual verities that has proven to be valid across time and space over the last two millennia.
“This is why, in spite of its many flaws and failings,man is yet to invent a form of government superior to democracy – the famed government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is thus understandable and indeed justified that Nigerians are elated that the country has recorded 20 years of unbroken democratic rule since 1999.
“Today, we commemorate the country’s emergent democracy in a way that is certainly more spiritually fulfilling and psychologically satisfying than has ever been the case since 1999.
he thank and commend the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the assent of the National Assembly, we are for the first time today celebrating our democracy as a nation on a historic day, June 12, which coincides with the day that the seed of today’s democratic sprouting was sown 26 years ago.
“What we had been commemorating on May 29th of every year since the democratic restoration of 1999 has been the day of the handover of power from the military regime to the elected civilian administration.” He said
He concluded that May 29 is nowhere near June 12 on the scale of significance in the nation’s democratic journey.
Tinubu urged Nigerians not to take democracy for granted or do anything to threaten its existence because it was not won on a peaceful and comfortable “platter of gold”.