Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu joined Nigerians worldwide in commemorating the 30th anniversary of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and the fifth anniversary of Democracy Day. In a broadcast, Tinubu paid tribute to the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 election, and other martyrs of the subsequent struggle, acknowledging Abiola’s sacrifice for the survival of democracy.
Tinubu, who played a prominent role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an umbrella group advocating for the actualization of the June 12 mandate, emphasized the significance of Abiola’s unwavering defence of democratic ideals. He also highlighted the sacrifices of other heroes, such as Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd), in the pursuit of democracy.
Expressing his commitment to the rule of law, Tinubu vowed that illegal orders used to disrupt democracy, like the annulment of the June 12 election, would no longer be tolerated. He further stated that those who refuse to accept defeat in elections do not deserve victory in future polls. Tinubu also addressed the recent removal of fuel subsidy, apologizing for the hardships experienced by the Nigerian people and assuring them that the decision was necessary to safeguard the country’s existence.
Afenifere, in a press statement, urged Tinubu to design policies that protect ordinary Nigerians and improve their welfare. The statement highlighted Tinubu’s active involvement in the struggle to restore civil rule, including his participation in the Hope 93 campaign led by Abiola. Afenifere emphasized that Tinubu now bears the responsibility of fulfilling the noble dreams of Abiola and integrating them with his own plans to steer Nigeria towards its destined role as a leading light for the African continent.
Tinubu’s message commemorated the June 12 election and expressed a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and the welfare of Nigerians, while Afenifere recognized Tinubu’s role in the struggle and called on him to fulfil the aspirations of Abiola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo for a transformed Nigeria.