A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Adeniyi Akintola, has described June 12 as an indelible phenomenon in Nigeria and a baseline for the present and future discourse on democracy and governance in the country.
Akintola who delivered a paper titled: ‘June 12: Nigeria still in search of Good Governance and Good leaders’, organised by the Oyo State Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the nation is sick and in dire need of cure.
Specifically, he regret that despite the abundance of human and material resources across the nation, Nigeria has never been blessed with good and credible leaders.
Referring to the ultimate price paid by the winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, “the man whose ultimate sacrifice laid the foundation for the eventual capitulation of military rule, thus paving way for the current democratic experience.” Akintola however regretted that the era of locusts which characterised the military era is unfortunately back in Nigeria.
"The locusts have never left the shore of this country. Unfortunately they are today reaping where they did not sow.
The likes of Moshood Erubami, myself, Gbenga Awosode among others were hounded and brutalised while fighting for the emancipation of the suffering masses by these locusts who unfortunately are still calling the shots in the land and are back again through the back door.
“They brewed rebels and radicals without knowing, and unfortunately, the nation and common man are the worse hit," he said.
Akintola said even though Abiola, who he said was a man of history, and transcended ethnic and religious boundaries was no longer physically around, the ideal of June 12 lives on.
"I believe today’s topic is predicated on assumptions and presumptions. I say this because the topic itself is suggestive of the fact that the country is yet to experience good governance or have good leaders since the unfortunate and criminal annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election.
"For those of us living in this country, we know the fact that 21 years after the nullification of an election adjudged to be the freest ever held in the Nigeria's history, the country is still groping in darkness searching of worthy leaders who have genuine patriotic zeal to transform the country and liberate it from the clutches of poverty and hopelessness.
"A calm look at the state of the nation today and retrospection into the recent past administrations will reveal that it is still far from Uhuru for Nigeria and its teeming citizens. Virtually, all aspects of our national life are in shambles-power, health, agriculture, education and transportation-just to mention a few,” the senior advocate stated.
While Akintola posited that June 12 should be the real Nigeria's democracy day, he tasked Nigerians to demand accountability from their leaders and refuse to sell their votes if the much needed good leadership would emerge in Nigeria.