A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed its dissatisfaction over Federal Government’s decision to continuously declare May 29 as Nigeria’s democracy day.
In a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group stated that celebrating May 29 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day is fraudulent, unrealistic and escapist.
“May 29 was picked by the last military regime of General Abdul Salaam Abubakar because it marked the day that the military handed over power to civilians after decades of military dictatorship. But the soul of Nigerians is in the June 12, 1993 general election whose result was criminally annulled by the military,” the statement reads.
“It is our considered opinion that June 12 should be Nigeria’s real Democracy Day because June 12 election was adjudged by both local and international observers as the most orderly, most peaceful and most democratic election in the annals of Nigeria’s history. That election remains celebrated today as the only one that was free of rigging, ballot box snatching, thuggery, hooliganism and other related ugly incidents.
“June 12 1993 was the day all Nigerians decided to sink religious and ethnic differences. They voted for the Muslim – Muslim ticket of Chief M. K. O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe. Nigerians spoke with one voice on that memorable day from Enugu to Kaora Namoda and from Sokoto to Bayelsa. The churches rejoiced with the mosques on June 12 1993 and Nigeria truly became one.
“One of the reasons for our failure to resolve the problems facing Nigeria is the inability of our leadership to face reality, to admit mistakes and to made amends. May 29 was a grievous mistake. June 12 is the way forward. If we do not know where we are going, at least we know where we are coming from. June 12 is where we are coming from. Let us go back to it in order to jog our people’s memory, ignite their passion and rekindle their patriotism.
“Those who picked May 29 merely wish to switch attention from our collective will. May 29 is enslavement and captivity. June 12 is freedom and liberty. It symbolizes unity and epitomizes unconditional love. It is emancipation from the claws of bourgeois politics, ethnic jingoism and corruption unlimited.
“June 12 removed the veil from our eyes. It taught us to seek leadership in competence, integrity and decency, not mediocrity, religious affiliation or ethnicity. On June 12 we stand.
“In conclusion, MURIC urges the Federal Government and the ruling party to keep faith with the change mantra by going back to June 12. Nigerians were promised change. We want that change to manifest in the day recognized as Democracy Day. It must be the people’s day, not the day picked by a tiny cabal. It must be the day of unity. It must be the day of unlimited love. Give us June 12.”