By Emmanuel Mogbede
The United Kingdom Chapter of the All Progressives Congress(APC), says the resilient and commitment of Nigerians over the last two decades should be commended as the country mark its democracy day.
Mr Jacob Ogunseye, Publicity Secretary of the chapter said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, adding that the contributions of Nigerians to the sustenance of country’s were tremendous.
“As a nation, we have passed through hurdles, we have swim along the turbulent rivers and endured in the presence of ravaging storm.
“Yet, we are waxing stronger, as a party, we understand that there a lot of work to be done in all sectors including economy, security, infrastructure, education, and host others.
“Our consolation is that the present administration has shown leadership and direction in most of these areas, Nigerians shall soon see a new country where all thrives,”he said.
Mr Ade Omole, leader of the APC UK Chapter said the time for Nigerians to enjoy is now, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is poised to better the lives of Nigerians.
He congratulated Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the newly elected President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on the Democracy Day.
He noted that while Wednesday is a special and memorable day, the main celebrants are Nigerians from different backgrounds.
This, he said, is especially so because on this day in 1993, Nigerians shared the same value of entrenching democracy in the country which could not come to pass for some reasons.
Omole enjoined Nigerians to use the opportunity of the celebration of the first Democracy Day to seek for unity among themselves and to continue to pray for the peace and development of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Democracy Day in Nigeria is being celebrated on June 12 in 2019 for the first time.
The change carries heavy symbolism for the country because it had known more years of being ruled by military men than by democratically elected leaders.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Democracy Day Bill into law on June 10,the law specifies that June 12 now replaces May 29, which was introduced in 1999 as the official Democracy Day.
By this piece of legislation, the new date will also be recognised as national public holiday by the Federal Government henceforth.
Following the signing of the law, May 29 would only be marked as a day for handover and inauguration of new governments in the country.
NAN further reports that June 12, 1993 was supposed to mark the return of democracy in Nigeria, the day carries huge significance for older Nigerians.
This, is especially so, because it was on this date in 1993 that presidential elections were held for the first time since the 1983 military coup.
The June 12 1993 Presidential election is still viewed as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election ever held in Nigeria.
On the day, an estimated 14 million Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious, class, and regional affiliations, came out to elect their president with the hope of ending eight years of military dictatorship.
The euphoria was however,short-lived as the results of the election was never released.
But unofficial results gathered from various polling stations by civil society groups across the country, indicated broad national support for the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
Abiola was a businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Yoruba Egba clan, despite his popularity and the turnout of electorate, the elections stalled.
The then Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, decided to annual the results of the election.
He justified the annulment on the grounds that it was necessary to save the nation, alleging that political activities preceding the election were inimical to peace and stability in Nigeria.