Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings over President Muhammadu’s declaration of June 12 as the nation’s democracy day beginning from June 12, 2019.
President Buhari said the presidential election conducted on June 12, 1993 was the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria, consequently, he found it good to honour the winner of the annulled election, Chief MKO Abiola.
He said the federal government consulted widely before the decision was reached, hence it became imperative to make the declaration, adding that the late MKO would be honoured posthumously on June 12.
From June 12, 1993 when the election was annulled by former military President Ibrahim Babangida, the Yorubas who are the major people in the western part of the country have been clamouring for June 12 as the main day of democracy in Nigeria.
They have protested continuously and continue to celebrate June 12 every year as the day of democracy in Nigeria.
Though the declaration appears an answer to the yearnings of the Yoruba people, a cross section of Nigerians are of the opinion that the declaration of June 12 as democracy day by President Buhari is a ploy to hoodwink the Yorubas so as to win the 2019 presidential election.
Many Nigerians said the president knows certain needs of different groups of people across the country, hence his advisers have hinted him on the need to declare the day as it is one of the biggest needs of the Yoruba people as a way of honouring their own, MKO Abiola.
The declaration is coming on the heels of calls across the country for the impeachment of Buhari, even as the Nigerian legislature fine tunes plans to oust Buhari from the presidency following series of attacks on its members from the executive.
Chief Sunny Onuesoke, said declaring June 12 as democracy day is a ruse by Buhari and Ahmed Tinubu to convince the west that Buhari meant well for them.
He said it is all lie and belated to honour Abiola who died for democracy for Nigerians to have freedom.
He questioned the rationale behind declaring it now that elections are close.
Another senior Nigerian, Samuel Oyediran said declaring June 12 democracy day after Buhari has just celebrated democracy day in May is wrong of Buhari.
He said: “Is there anything wrong with this dispensation that there’s no common truth any longer? Must we play politics with national issues?
“If l may ask why has he not declare June 12 as a democracy all along his three years of government, why now? Is it because of election is around the corner? This is serious desperation and it will not work.”