The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has described June 12 as “a threshold moment in Nigeria’s national life,” which demands sacrifice from Nigerian democrats on how to make the country better.
Atiku, in a statement, yesterday, by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, said it was not enough to declare June 12 Democracy Day “when the government of the day is disrespectful to the rule of law and disregards court orders” on fundamental human rights, especially with Nigeria as the global headquarters of poverty.
“As a compatriot who stood with the icon of the June 12 struggle, Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory, I know first-hand that the choice of hope as his campaign slogan wasn’t merely a populist tokenism.
“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed; when freedom of the press, and of speech, the fundamentals of democracy is being assailed,” Atiku said.
The former vice president said the ideals of June 12 must be channeled towards the common good of the people through a responsible leadership, and thus advised the government to focus on retooling the Nigerian economy in order to provide jobs and create wealth for Nigerians.
He further described as unacceptable a situation where an administration that had a four-year opportunity to deliver on its promise of change to Nigerians, “not only reneged on the promise, but also plunged the country into coma.”