June 12: Nigerians never witnessed true democracy ― Orangun of Oke-Ila
The traditional ruler of Oke- Ila, in Osun State, the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, on Wednesday, said Nigerians have not experienced genuine democracy in its 20 years of democracy.
Abolarin who stated this in Akure, Ondo state capital, while delivering a lecture during the celebration of June 12, Democracy Day, said despite the 20 years of uninterrupted democratic rule, the selfishness of the Nigerian leaders and elites eluded the country the real dividend of democracy.
In the lecture with the theme, Democracy Day: What the Future Holds, the monarch said the nation is reaping the result of the selfishness of some of its leaders, calling on the present crop of leaders to fix the challenges confronting the nation.
The monarch bemoaned the military interjection of the civil rule in the country saying the country would have developed more, but for the military interjection, which he said caused a major setback for the country.
He notes that it may take another ten years for the nation to start enjoying genuine democracy, saying “democracy is not a thing to get done overnight.”
He opined that many of the present crops of leaders in the country may have died before the country enjoys true and real democracy.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to recognise the heroes and heroines of democracy across the country, for the roles they played in ensuring the civil rule
in the country.
He listed some of the heroes to include, late Chief Bola Ige, Alfred Rewani, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Adekunle Ajasin, Abraham Adesanya, Kudirat Abiola, and Gani Fawehinmi among others Nigerians who played significant roles at ensuring that Nigeria returns to democratic rule.
The monarch commended the roles played by the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in the process of returning to civil rule, recalling that many members of the organization were killed and jailed
while struggling for the civil rule, lamenting that many of those who fought for democracy in Nigeria did not live to enjoy it.
Speaking, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu said the recognition given to June 12 as Democracy Day was commendable and thereby expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the recognition.
He said the recognising of June 12 as the democracy day would go a long way to assuage the feelings of the Nigerian people over the annulment of what was termed to be a most credible election in the country.
Akeredolu who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Akeredolu urged Nigerians to do everything to sustain democracy and called on politicians to embrace the real tenet of democracy.