…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu delivered his first nationwide broadcast on Democracy Day, addressing Nigerians and providing explanations for the removal of fuel subsidy and other government actions.
The Significance of June 12, 1993
Three decades ago, Nigerians exercised their right to elect a President in a pivotal moment for the transition from military dictatorship to representative governance.
The annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, widely regarded as the fairest and freest in Nigeria’s political evolution, sparked a prolonged struggle that eventually led to the democracy enjoyed since 1999.
The Fight for Democracy
The strong opposition to the annulment of the June 12, 1993, election mirrored the battle against colonial rule, demonstrating the enduring value of democracy.
The unjust annulment served as a catalyst for resistance by a resurgent civil society, ultimately leading to the restoration of democratic governance in 1999.
Remembering Heroes of Democracy
President Tinubu acknowledges the sacrifices of Chief MKO Abiola, who defended democracy and paid the ultimate price, as well as other heroes like Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
Their contributions symbolize the struggle for democracy and the importance of valuing and protecting it.
The Importance of Safeguarding Democracy
President Tinubu emphasizes the need to never take democracy for granted and to protect it as a precious jewel.
Reflecting on past experiences of dictatorship, he underscores the stark contrast between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation of tyranny.
The existence of rancorous debates and electoral contestations in a democracy attests to its value and resilience.
Recent Elections and the Beauty of Democracy
President Tinubu acknowledges the intensity of the recently held elections and highlights the positive aspect of a fiercely contested democratic process.
Democracy provides opportunities for both victory and defeat, and the constitutional provisions for seeking redress in court make it the best form of government.
The Eternal Essence of Democracy
President Tinubu asserts that democracy is eternal and represents the rule of law, a vibrant judiciary, and justice.
He emphasizes the need to eliminate illegal orders that undermine democracy and announces the harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers as a step toward strengthening the rule of law.
Democracy and Social Justice
President Tinubu emphasizes that democracy should go beyond political freedoms and elections, striving to deliver social and economic justice to the people.
He discusses the decision to remove the fuel subsidy, acknowledging the burden it places on the masses but emphasizing its necessity for the country’s survival and progress.
A Promise for a Better Future
President Tinubu assures Nigerians that their sacrifices will not be in vain.
He pledges massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities to improve the quality of life.
He reiterates that the democracy fought for by Chief MKO Abiola prioritizes the welfare of the people over personal interests of the ruling class.
Rededication to Democracy
On this Democracy Day, President Tinubu calls for a renewed commitment to strengthening democracy and fulfilling electoral promises.
He emphasizes the importance of selfless service and delivering tangible benefits to the people.
The administration remains dedicated to the “Renewed Hope” agenda, governed by truth, equity, justice, and respect for the rule of law.
President Tinubu concludes his address by wishing Nigerians a happy Democracy Day celebration and expressing a prayer that the light of liberty never fades in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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