Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday, described the recognition of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day by the Federal Government as righting the wrongs of the past, saying there would not have been May 29 without June 12.
The governor said that the late Chief MKO Abiola deserves the honor accorded him by the government, but noted that it was not about him but about Nigerians that voted for him.
Fayemi spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday at an event to commemorate June 12 as Democracy Day in the state.The governor described many of those who fought against the annulment of June 12 as committed patriots.
His words: “Some of those saying that June 12 was not worth dying for were poor students of history and not abreast of the war waged by people to restore democracy to the country. Over 70 per cent of our close to 200 million population did not have first hand information about June 12, so those of us who knew what transpired must acknowledge the struggle.
“One thing is clear. There won’t be May 29 without June 12 and that was why President Muhammadu Buhari decided to honor the late Abiola. The honor was not just about the man but also about Nigerians who voted for Chief MKO Abiola.
“The man represented Nigeria in all its ramifications and he understood all the contradictions, so there are lessons to be learnt, especially with the way President Buhari decided to honor this man, who died for democracy. That is why we have to strengthen this democracy. We are not yet where we are supposed to be.”
Also speaking on the occasion, former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd) advised President Muhammadu Buhari to make June 12 the inauguration day for president, governors and other elected office holders in the country.At a public discourse titled ‘June 12: Lighting the Candle of Democracy’, Akinrinade added that, “President Buhari was one of the first retired generals to stand up for June 12.”He stated that what Buhari did was not for MKO Abiola, but for the growth of the country’s democracy.