BEING TEXT OF A STATEMENT BY JUNE 12 COALITION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 23RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE TREASONABLE ANNULLED JUNE 12, 1993 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HELD IN COLLABORATION WITH LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT AT BLUE ROOF, LTV COMPLEX, LATEEF JAKANDE ROAD, AGIDINGBI, ALAUSA, IKEJA, LAGOS ON JUNE 12, 2016.
ON JUNE 12, WE STAND
Your Excellency, the Chairman, My Lord Spiritual and Temporal, Distinguished Honourables, members of the fourth estate of the Realm, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure and honour to stand before you on this auspicious occasion of the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the treasonably annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election which has been indisputably acclaimed as the freest and fairest election in Nigeriaâ€™s political history by the Ibrahim Babangida military junta.
Once again as in our tradition, todayâ€™s occasion is in honour of the memory of the martyrs both known and unknown who paid the supreme price as well as those still alive who fought relentlessly to actualize the peoples mandate and democracy in Nigeria. They are too numerous to mention but they include the custodian of the peoples mandate, late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, his wife Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Chief Michael Ajasin, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Ganiu Dawodu, Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti, Baba Omojola, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Prof. Claude Ake, Prof. Jadesola Akande, Comrade Ola Oni, Comrade Chima Ubani, Chief Lam Adesina, Bagauda Kaltho, Admiral Dan Suleiman, Dr. Sola Omatsola and others.
The June 12 Coalition of democratic formations since 22 years ago, has been at the vanguard of championing the ideals of the June 12 struggle within the Nigerian political space. The Coalition has collaborated with government agencies, civil societies and nongovernmental organizations, market men and women, labour movement bodies, students unions, environmental concerns, artisans, the physically challenged, women groups, etc in keeping the torch of June 12 burning.
We must emphasize that the change witnessed in our political landscape via the 2015 general elections is not a coincidence, but a consequence of years of relentless and unwavering struggle for true democracy canvassed under the June 12 and other progressive platforms.
We remain eternally grateful for the immeasurable support we have received over the years from successive administrations in Lagos State since the advent of democratic rule in 1999, from the administration of a strong pillar of democratic struggle in Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his successor, Barrister Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as well as the new administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, without whose support we would not have gathered here today.
As we commemorate this yearâ€™s anniversary, we must commend the government of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for its giantâ€™s strides in governance which has positioned his administration as the bench mark of good governance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, indeed we are very proud to be associated with this progressive administration of excellence and inclusiveness.
As we commemorate this yearâ€™s June 12 anniversary, it is important to restate that June 12 Coalition remains one of the most vibrant social force for feeling the pulse and articulating the peopleâ€™s voice on national issues for our collective good. This is a great social responsibility that history has thrusted on our laps and we remain irrevocably committed to, in line with the ideals of June 12.
- The June 12 Coalition of democratic formations because of its commitment to true federalism and democratic principles which June 12 symbolizes, is fully appreciative of the fact that a critical hindrance to the achievement of the full potentials of the Nigerian state and its people, is its faulty political and economic structure. Thus, we demand the establishment of a technical committee to review and harmonize the reports of the different National Conferences since independence, including the Pro National Conference (PRONACO) draft constitution as a way forward. The report of the technical committee should be used to draw up a peopleâ€™s constitution which must be subjected to a popular referendum.
- We commend the Lagos state government and other South West states governments for their commitment to June 12 by recognizing its significance and declaring it as a work free day in their states. We call on the states Houses of Assembly in the South West of Nigeria to pass a resolution calling on the National Assembly to sponsor a bill declaring June 12 as a National Day of Democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- In as much as we appreciate the Lagos state government for the establishment of the office of civic engagement to coordinate and collaborate with civil society organizations on societal issues, the June 12 Coalition is hereby restating for the umpteenth time, its demand for support for the establishment of the June 12 Institute of Democracy to be dedicated to teaching and research on the ideals of true federalism and democracy in memory of the June 12, 1993 election.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the June 12 Coalition commends the President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s led administration patriotic and unwavering determination, to develop Nigeria by fulfilling its electoral promises to the Nigerian people inspite of the mounting challenges. We admonish all Nigerians to keep hope alive by being eternally vigilant.
Alfred Ilenre Nelson Ekujumi,
Acting Chairman General Secretary.