Let June 12 Inspire Us to Correct Error of Feb 25 – Obi Urges Nigerians on Democracy Day

By Jude Atupulazi

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, says for the Democracy Day Celebration in the country to have meaning, it should inspire Nigerians to correct the error of the last Presidential Election on February 25 which is believed to have been rigged in favour of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC.

This, Obi insisted, would be the surest route to restoring and deepening Nigeria’s Democracy.

Obi had, in a Democracy Day Message to Nigerians, said that the challenge of June 12 and a dedicated Democracy Day was to inspire Nigerians to correct the errors of the recent elections.

‘This is the surest way to restore the confidence of our people in the future of our nation and the promise of true democracy,’ he said.

The presidential candidate described June 12 as a historic day that deserved to be celebrated, noting that on that day in 1993, Nigerians stated their unreserved preference for true democracy.

‘Though under Military Rule, we freely chose a transparent voting method. Our votes reflected our true choice as a people. Our choice on that day defied divisions of ethnicity, religion, and region,’ he stated.

Obi noted that it was the quality of votes reflecting the true choice of Nigerians that added up to make June 12 special in the country’s search for true democracy.

‘Our collective choice of the late Chief M. K.O Abiola as a worthy leader for the nation was saluted by Nigerians and governments and peoples across the world,’ Obi said.

The former Anambra State Governor who is in court challenging the Presidential Election he is perceived to have won, remarked that June 12 underpinned the Nigeria’s long, collective journey to nationhood as a true democracy.

He regretted that the current state of the country’s politics told a different story which was that its democracy was deeply troubled, while the nation’s destiny remained uncertain and precarious.

‘We remain a nation in search of solutions to too many basic problems. One of these is the search for a credible electoral system that would command the trust, confidence, and belief of all Nigerians just like June 12 did,’ Obi said, while urging the country to use the commemoration of June 12 as an occasion to return to the true virtues of a truly democratic nation which, he said, was achieved on June 12, 1993.

‘In the spirit of June 12, therefore, we need to emplace an electoral system that commands the trust of the people. This is in recognition of the tenets and core values of democracy which rest on respect for the wishes of the people as expressed in their ballots.

‘Above all, the government must respect and protect the institutions of the democratic state by respecting the social contract with the people by meeting their needs, obeying their wishes, and fulfilling the responsibilities of responsible governance as contained in the constitution.  A cardinal responsibility of government in this regard is respect for the rule of law,’ he said.

Obi regretted that Nigerians were now, in an era where those foundational pillars of democracy were undermined by prevalent impunity and pervasive violence and bloodletting.

‘The trust deficit between the leaders and Nigerians continues to expand. The deficits of trust and efficiency in our last elections demonstrate this malady quite boldly,’ he pointed out.

He expressed commitment and total conviction that a New Nigeria remained possible, asserting that Nigeria’s aspiration for a nation of equity, justice, security, and peace could hardly be utopian.

‘These aspirations are real and achievable, and I hereby reiterate my promise to Nigerians that we will not relent in our fight to bring about leadership that will accord them the priority they deserve,’ Obi concluded.