June 12 Anniversary: Osun Declares Monday Work-Free
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has declared Monday, June 13 as work free-day in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
This is according to a statement signed by the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon.
Governor Aregbesola affirmed that June 12 most symbolises democracy because it was the date of the unequivocal affirmation of the unity of the country by Nigerians across all divides.
Meanwhile, civil society groups held a rally in Osogbo, the state capital to promote their view that June 12 should be regarded as Democracy Day instead of May 29.
The group, comprising civil society organisations, students and market women walked from Ayetoro area to Freedom Park and later moved on to Olaiya junction singing and chanting songs of democracy.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the rally, some of the human rights activists, Waheed Saka and Rasheed Ropo argued that the June 12, 1993 presidential election gave birth to democracy in Nigeria.
They noted that it remains the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of the country.
Asides calling for a posthumous declaration of Abiola as a President of Nigeria, they also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the “farewell to poverty” manifesto of the late MKO Abiola.
They urged the federal government to tackle the various challenges facing the country headlong.
Sunday marked the 23rd anniversary of the day that has come to be recognised as a defining moment in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and the struggle to break the grip of military rule.
Popularly known as June 12, it commemorates the day in 1993, when the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the country’s presidential election.
Widely acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history, the poll is believed to have been won by business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Abiola.
No reason was given for the annulment of the election, but it triggered a series of upheavals and protests across the country that eventually forced General Babangida out of office.
Chief Abiola later died in custody on July 7, 1998 following his arrest and detention by the regime of General Sani Abacha, for attempting to actualise his mandate.