Olaleye Idowu

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar have requested Nigerians to keep faith with the county, this is as the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party appealed to Nigerians not to give up on the country in spite myriad of challenges the county is battling

In separate statements in Abuja, on Friday, the PDP and Atiku recalled the sacrifices Nigerians, including the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, made to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed the right to freely choose their leaders.

The PDP, in a statement titled, ‘Don’t Give Up, PDP Urges Nigerians on June 12,’ which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The PDP urges Nigerians not to give up in the genuine collective struggle to reinforce democratic governance in the country, despite the intimidation, harassment and rights violations by the All Progressives Congress and its Federal Government.

“The PDP however calls on Nigerians to remain alert and law-abiding during the planned June 12 Democracy Day anniversary and cautioned the APC to desist from its reported plots to use security forces and thugs to clamp down and unleash violence on citizens as witnessed in the #EndSARS protest.”

Ologbondiyan also said the PDP was saddened that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has with its actions and inactions continued to threaten democratic practices and institutions.

Similarly, Atiku, in a statement titled, ‘June 12 was a dark chapter, but let’s not lose the lessons,’ which he signed, described the June 12, 1993 election as a dark chapter in Nigeria’s chequered political history. He, however, said we shouldn’t lose the lessons contained therein.

He said, “On the occasion of 2021 Democracy Day, I’m proud to join Nigerians in the celebration of this important day in our recent political history not only because I was part of those challenging moments, but also because of my unshaken belief in democracy.

“Although the annulment of MKO Abiola’s election was a major setback, my consolation is that it made Nigerians more united to resist dictatorship and entrench democracy.

“The illegal cancellation of the results of the 1993 presidential election was not a personal loss to Abiola, but a loss to Nigeria and its democracy.

 “Abiola, whom I stepped down for in the 1993 primary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Jos, was a good man, and his only primary reason for joining the race was to offer selfless service to the ordinary Nigerians.

“I was deeply pained by the circumstances in which he was arrested and eventually died in government’s custody. Such gross injustice was unspeakably cruel.”

Meanwhile, the APC in a statement titled, ‘June 12: APC Felicitates With President Buhari, Nigerians on 2021 Democracy Day…Our Commitment to Progressive Reforms, Electoral Promises Unwavering,’ signed by the Acting National Secretary, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, scored itself high in terms of the delivery of dividends of democracy.

It said, “Nigerians can recall that it was the President Buhari-led APC administration that declared June 12 as Democracy Day in our unwavering commitment to democracy as contained in the APC mission statement and vision.

“As Nigerians mark the 2021 Democracy Day, it is important to note that Africa’s most populous country remains the largest economy on the continent under the leadership of President Buhari, with a GDP of $514 billion as published in the latest World Bank report and this is  in spite of lower oil production caused by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.”

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