At the Public Lecture jointly organised by the State Government of Osun and Coalition of Civil Society in the State to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day, I noted that nationhood and democracy rest on strong institutions, equity, justice, political will and fairness, and that the absence of these kernels was responsible for our wobbled nationhood and democracy. We must find the courage to institute them in our polity to build a strong, virile and prosperous nation that we desire.
I also emphasised that the time has come for us as a people, to focus and rely on our shared values and the things that bind us together to build a nation and a democracy that will deliver values and good life to the masses and enable Nigeria takes its place in the comity of nations. We must ensure we overcome and do away with the inherent failings in our system – ethnicity, religion, graft, etc. – which have continued to threaten our nationhood and democracy.
The road to nationhood and democracy is in looking through the rear-view mirror to correct the anomalies in our journey so far, including those that made the fate of June 12 to befall us, and having the political will to birth a nation and a democracy that will truly make us to occupy our place as the Giant of Africa.
With dozens of natural resources in commercial quantities buried in its soil, thousands of human resources in the nation, a burgeoning population of youth who constitute over 60 percent of the nation, the profile of the nation as the most populous black nation in the world, there is no doubt that Nigeria has all it takes to lead the world if it gets governance and leadership issues right.
The acknowledgment of June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day is a tribute to courage. I, therefore, extend deep gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for actualising the long yearnings of the people for the recognition of the day they freely gave their mandate to a candidate of their choice, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, in an election regarded worldwide as the freest election in Nigeria.
Happy Democracy Day, Nigerians.