Democracy Day: Obasanjo Owes Nigerians An Explanation For His Absence – Garba Shehu

Photo combination of Garba Shehu and Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu says Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo needs to explain to Nigerians why he was absent at 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day.

Shehu in a statement on Wednesday said Obasanjo’s claim that he was not invited to the inauguration cannot be sustained because he was duly invited.

He added that the letter inviting Obasanjo to the event was written by the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha on May 19.

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“The former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, owes an answer to Nigerians on his absence from the 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day celebration because the claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained.

“Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country toward polarization have cashed in on it, throwing all manner of rubbish at the Buhari Presidency.

“The fact remains that the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote on May 16th, 2019 to: “His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road, Ibara, P.O.Box 2286, Abeokuta, Ogun State.”

“The invitation was sent to Chief Obasanjo’s known forwarding address, detailing out all the major events, and the invitation cards were delivered by a reputable courier company as confirmed.

“The receipt of the letter and invitation cards as delivered by the courier company was confirmed by Mr. Taiwo Ojo, the long-standing Personal Secretary to the former President.

“If in the circumstance, Chief Obasanjo did not see or receive the letter and invitation cards as published by Vanguard newspaper (Page 16, June 16, 2019) and several other news platforms, then the former President needs to find out what is happening with his own secretariat.

“The government office did its job diligently and should not be blemished for no reason.”

Democracy Day: Remember Those Who Died In The Fight For June 12 – Joseph Eva

Joseph Eva

 

Member of the Ijaw Monitoring Group and a Niger Delta Activist, Joseph Eva, has asked Nigerians to remember those who died in the fight for June 12 not just for Moshood Abiola but for the sake of unity.

Mr. Eva who was appreciative with the recent declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, noted that there were people who were involved in the struggle and gave up their lives to ensure the day is memorable.

“As we remember those who died, let us remember those who prayed that Nigerians should recongise the important of the June 12 election not just for Abiola but for the sake of unity”.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Televisions Lunch Time Politics programme, the Niger Delta activist, commended the Federal Government for setting the day aside to mark democracy and as a public holiday.

READ ALSO: Government Should Recognise Other Heroes Of June 12 Struggle, Says Falana

For those of us seeing today June 12 as a public holiday, we want to thank the African brothers, Presidents and others who came to celebrate the day because they know the significance of this day.

We want to thank the President (Muhammadu Buhari) for him to say June 12 should be officially recongise as Democracy Day.

The Delta Activist expressed concern regarding the kind of democracy practiced in the country, adding that such kind of democracy is the civil rule.

observing the general elections, he said that politicians were involved in a lot of vote buying, and there has been a lack of respect for court ruling among other issues.

“It is civil rule that is being practiced in Nigeria’s democracy today because there is a lot of voting buying if you don’t have the money you cannot contest an election, while some people don’t respect the court ruling, so we cannot qualify that as real democracy”.

Mr. Eva was however optimistic that Nigeria’s democracy will get better with time.

It Is Not Enough To Declare June 12 Democracy Day – Atiku

 

Nigeria’s Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says it is not enough to just declare June 12 as Democracy Day.

Atiku said as much as it is celebratory and commendable to declare it Democracy Day, the idea behind the event of June 12 embodies something much bigger.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a Democracy Day when the government of the day is disrespectful of the rule of law and wantonly disregards court orders on issues that border on fundamental human rights.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when the ordinary people of Nigeria still don’t have the freedom to find a better life from the suffocating grip of poverty, when Nigeria is now the global headquarters of extreme poverty.

“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.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed.

READ ALSO: Buhari Renames Abuja National Stadium After MKO Abiola

“Suffice it to state that the idea of June 12 is not merely to declare it as a Democracy Day much as celebratory and commendable it might seem.

“The idea behind the event of June 12, 1993, embodies something much bigger than that. It was a threshold moment in our national life that demands of us as democrats to do a soul searching and ask the salient question of all time: how better off are Nigerians?” he asked.

Atiku, who was also the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 election said The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country. On this day twenty-six years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.

The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandize the political elite or to replace the military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.

As a compatriot who stood shoulder to shoulder 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. He didn’t mean to deceive Nigerians with a hope he could not deliver upon. And, today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be either in government or in private lives to deliver on the promises they made to the people.

It is therefore not acceptable that an administration which had an opportunity of four years to deliver the promise of change to Nigerians, not only reneged on that promise but propelled the country into a near-comatose state will lay claims to being a true friend of the June 12 struggle.

To be a lover of June 12 is to believe in the common good of the people. June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy. It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.

As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was twenty-six years ago. So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the HOPE alive.

Top 12 Quotes From President Buhari’s Democracy Day Speech

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, at the inaugural June 12 Democracy day, gave a speech where some declarations were made and the agendas of his administration reeled out.

READ ALSO: Colourful Military Parade At Democracy Day Celebration

Below are the top 12 quotes made by President Buhari:

  1. Today, we are privileged to mark the longest period of unbroken democratic leadership and 5th peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another in Nigeria.
  2. I was involved at close quarters in the struggle to keep Nigeria one. I can, therefore, do no more than dedicate the rest of my life to work for the unity of Nigeria and upliftment of Nigerians.
  3. What we require is the will to get our acts together. Our strength is in our people our youth, our culture, our resilience, our ability to succeed despite the odds Buhari
  4. Without Nigerian influence and resources, the liberation of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and ultimately South Africa would have come at a greater cost.
  5. With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
  6. This Administration is laying the foundation and taking bold steps in transforming our country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty.
  7. When economic inequality rises, insecurity rises. But when we actively reduce inequality through investments in social and hard infrastructure, insecurity reduces.
  8. When we took office we realised that if you fight corruption, corruption will fight back and we have seen this at all levels.
  9. For Nigeria to progress, a collective resolution to address corruption and foster broad-based prosperity is required to create a country that is not only for a few privileged but for all Nigerians.
  10. Despite the challenges over the last four years, my optimism about Nigeria’s future is unshaken and Nigeria’s role in the world as an emerging economic force is without a doubt.
  11. This Government will not tolerate actions by any individual or groups of individuals who seek to attack our way of life or those who seek to corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
  12. Today, I propose the re-naming of the Abuja National Stadium. Henceforth it will be called MOSHOOD ABIOLA NATIONAL STADIUM.

Nigeria’s Democracy Has Moved Backward From June 12, Says Oyegun

John Oyegun

 

Former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, has said that Nigeria’s democracy has moved backward from the June 12 era.

“To my mind, we have moved backward from June 12 in terms of our appreciation, practice, and acceptance of true democracy.

“I believe it is a process, we have made mistakes, we are learning and we are lucky that today we have a President like Muhammadu Buhari, he has led the benchmark.”

READ ALSO: It Is Not Enough To Declare June 12 Democracy Day Atiku

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Lunchtime Politics Programme, Mr. Oyegun commended the president for rebuilding the nation and stabilising the economy in the last four years of his administration.

“We’ve been through a bad path, again the fortune of having President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He has spent four years stabilising the economy, rebuilding the foundation of this nation.

“He has spent four years putting in place the structures that will propel us forward in this second term.”

The former APC chairman emphasised that the President has rebuilt and stabilised the economy, which has put the country in a situation to move forward.

He admitted that certain issues are still affecting the country’s development and progress such as poverty, unemployment, insecurity among others.

Mr Oyegun also assured Nigerians that the next four years will be better than the previous years which other administrations can continue from where he stopped.

 

We Can Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty In 10 Years-Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

Buhari revealed this in his opening speech during the inaugural June 12 Democracy Day celebration in Abuja on Wednesday.

He added that despite the positive growth in the economy, his administration is mapping out policies to ensure that the country’s GDP grows by 2.7 per cent in 2019.

“In face of these challenges, our Government elected by the people in 2015 and re-elected in March has been mapping out policies, measures and laws to maintain our unity and at the same time lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and onto the road to prosperity.

“With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“We now have witnessed 8 quarters of positive growth in the economy and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent this year.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Renames Abuja National Stadium After MKO Abiola

President Buhari assured that the next four years will focus on improving the lives of people.

“For the next four years, we will remain committed to improving the lives of people by consolidating efforts to address these key issues as well as emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities and dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and the impacts on food scarcity and regional stability.”

Government Should Recognise Other Heroes Of June 12 Struggle, Says Falana

 

Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has asked the Federal Government to identify other heroes of the June 12 struggle.

Mr Falana who was guest on Channels Televisions Democracy Day edition of Sunrise Daily on Wednesday advised those who were part of the struggle, and are now in government, to ensure that the ideals are actualised.

My advice to the government, beyond recognising chief MKO Abiola, beyond the national honour, well deserved, conferred on him, as well as chief Gani Fawehinmi, we must also identify other heroes of that struggle from all over the country. This was not a NADECO and Afenifere affair.

The beauty of those who are coming from the civil society who have found themselves either in the executive or the legislature is to ensure that those ideals are actualised and implemented in Government, that is why June 12 is so significant.

READ ALSO: Third Republic Legislators At Eagle Square: We Are Victims Of June 12

He added that after the elections, candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa, was under pressure to go to the tribunal and it was at that point the civil societies and trade unions began the struggle.

The point has been made abundantly clear, after that election, Bashir Tofa, the other candidate congratulated his opponent and that is what is done in any civilised society; he was under pressure to go to the tribunal but he said no.

From that moment, the civil society came in, the progressive trade unions came in and made the country ungovernable for the dictators.

They were waging the struggle when some of us were captured and taken to jail houses, they made it ungovernable for the military dictators to have their way, at the end we won the battle for the restoration, he added.

Buhari Arrives Eagle Square For Democracy Day Celebration

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived the Eagles Square in Abuja where the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations are holding for the first time.

The President arrived at some minutes past 10am, he received the state salute and joined in the general rendition of the National anthem.

He also rode in a special inspection vehicle to inspect guards on parade and acknowledged cheers from guests present.

Prior to Buhari’s arrival, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had arrived at the venue, he (Osinbajo) welcomes some of the invited guests on behalf of the President.

READ ALSO: Government Should Recognise Other Heroes Of June 12 Struggle, Says Falana

The new Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila have also arrived at the Eagles Square.

Also present at the Eagles Square are the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwosi II, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia.

Other world leaders have also arrived Abuja for the democracy day celebration

A Democracy Day speech by President Buhari is expected as the high point of the day’s events.

 

Democracy Day: June 12 And The Struggle For Recognition – A Timeline

 

Democracy may be as old as the times of the Greeks and Romans, but in Nigeria, democratic rule has only existed for two decades since the military handed power to civilians in 1999.

Though relatively young if compared to that of many other nations, Nigeria’s democratic rule has faced the great tests, witnessing diverse twists and turns, some of which today has led to a change of date for the nation’s Democracy Day, from May 29 to June 12.

Nigeria’s new Democracy Day has a long history, one that has its fair mix of pain and pleasure, a story which tells of a people’s passionate struggle for peace and dogged fight for justice.

Below is a chronological list of events that made up the June 12 struggle and the decision to celebrate Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy every June 12.

We look at Nigeria’s democracy, using the journey of chief MKO Abiola as the frigate.

1980: BEGINNINGS

By 1979, Nigeria’s military government kept its words and handed over to a civilian government, and by 1980 Abiola who was formerly of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), joined the ruling National Party of Nigeria. Though eligible and ready to run for the post of president, Abiola’s hope was (temporarily) dashed when in 1983 a military coup swept away the President Shehu Shagari administration and brought the Second Republic to an end.

1992: FORMATIONS

A coup in 1985 overthrew the military government of 1983, which was led by the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari, bringing into power, General Ibrahim Babangida.

Close to a decade of military rule after, General Babangida came under pressure to return democratic rule to Nigeria.

By 1989, General Babangida legalised the formation of political parties and after a census was carried out in November 1991, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced that both legislative elections to a bicameral National Assembly and a Presidential election would be held later in 1992.

By this time two political parties – the National Republican Convention and Social Democratic Party – had been formed to contest in the polls.

Option A4 was adopted as the process of voting.

1993: HISTORIC ELECTION, TRAGIC ANNULMENT

In 1992, rather than hold the Presidential election as scheduled, the General Babangida regime postponed till 1993.

In February 1993, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola announced his candidacy for President. His party of choice was the SDP. He would run against Bashir Othman Tofa of the NRC.

When the June 12 elections finally held, results from the polls were heavily in favour of Abiola as he secured some 58 percent of the votes.

However, Babangida annulled the election, claiming that although the election was considered free and fair, there were a lot of malpractices.

On August 26, 1993, after succumbing to the crisis and pressure that followed the annulment, General Babangida, handed power over to an interim government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Barely three months later, on November 17, 1993, General Sani Abacha seized power through a coup, unleashing a rule of terror.

1994: COALITIONS

Abacha’s rise to power was resisted by pro-democracy activists and supporters of the June 12 mandate.

Many of these activists rallied together under the aegis ofthe National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which was formed on May 15, 1994, by a broad coalition of Nigerian Democrats. NADECO led calls for General Abacha to step down and hand over power to Chief Abiola.

On June 11, 1994, backed by pro-democracy activists and supporters, Abiola declared himself the lawful President of Nigeria in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island. This declaration is what is often referred to as the Epetedo Declaration.

Chief Abiola, was, however, accused of treason, declared wanted and was eventually arrested and jailed on the orders of military president General Sani Abacha.

On November 17, 1994, which was the first anniversary of Abacha’s coup, a bomb exploded in Lagos airport and NADECO warned that it would be a disaster if the nation would only get the international community’s attention with violence.

1995: BOMBINGS AND ARRESTS

On May 19, 1995, Wale Osun, the acting secretary-general of NADECO was arrested. Later in the same month, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and other NADECO members were arrested and interrogated after a bomb explosion in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State.

1996: ASSASSINATIONS

While NADECO continued to mount pressure on the government of the day and Abiola continued to endure the pains of incarceration, the Nigerian government went after the SDP Presidential candidate’s wife, Kudirat Abiola.

On June 4, 1996, supporters of the June 12 struggle received tragic news. Kudirat who believed and fought relentlessly for the restoration of her husband’s mandate was assassinated brutally murdered; when machine gun-wielding assassins opened fire on her car.

1997: ‘TREASON’ CLAIMS AND TRIALS

On March 12, the military regime charged sixteen pro-democracy activists with treason. They were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ikeja, Lagos.

They were alleged to have been responsible for a series of bomb blasts in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, which have appeared to target military personnel and institutions.

Twelve of the accused, Chief Olu Falae, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Adegbenga Adebusuyi, Moses Akeke Akinnola, Evangelist Bayo Johnson, Adeyemiwo Femi, Oluyinka Festus Adeboye, Layi Odumade, Olugbenga Odumade, Moshood Yahaya, Musa Okoiyaafan, and Sukere Mohammed, appeared in court that day.

The other four accused; Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, NADECO leader Chief Anthony Enahoro, former Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade, and Dr. Amos Akingba, a businessman, were living in exile. They were charged in absentia.

On August 27, 1997, during the first week of Human Rights Watch’s mission to Nigeria, agents of the State Security Service arrested Tunji Abayomi, Chairman of Human Rights Africa (HRA), apparently in order to abort a reception his organization had planned in honor of Justice Elizabeth Kayissyan Pognon, the President of the Constitutional Court of neighboring Benin Republic.

Justice Pognon, the recipient of HRA’s Africa Service Award, was prevented from entering the country. Abayomi was detained for over four days at Shangisha Prison.

Also on August 27, 1997, security agents disrupted a seminar for labour unions organised by the Bureau of African Labour, Human and Democratic Rights, and arrested John Odion, the group’s executive secretary, at the Jabita Intercontinental Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Three days later, armed security agents prevented the launching of a book entitled Abiola, Democracy, and Rule of Law at the Nigerian Union of Journalists Club House in Somolu, Lagos.

In a similar vein, On 21 December 1997, the government arrested top army officials including the Deputy Head of State, Lieutenant General Oladipo Diya, Major General Tunji Olanrewaju, Major General Abdulkarim Adisa, and eight others for allegedly plotting to “violently” overthrow the government of General Sani Abacha.

The eight others included colonels Daniel Akintonde, Edwin Jando, Peters Alinyode, Emmanuel Shode, Major Olusegun Fadipe, and Diya’s political advisor, professor Femi Odekunle.

The reasons for the alleged coup plot are obscure. Although Diya was reportedly known for a “quiet” opposition to Abacha’s presidential aspirations, Olanrewaju and Adisa were regarded “as ultra-loyalists who enthusiastically endorsed an extension of Abacha’s presidential tenure”

1998: SUDDEN DEATHS

By 1st October 1995, Abacha had announced the timetable for a three-year transition to civilian rule. Only five political parties were approved by the regime and voter turnout for local elections in December 1997, was under 10%.

In April 1998, all five political parties adopted General Sani Abacha as their candidate for the August 1 election.

However, Abacha would not live to see the day, as he died unexpectedly of a heart attack on June 8, 1998.

On June 9, 1998,General Abdulsalami Abubakar was sworn in as the 8th military ruler by the Provisional Military Council, he promised to return the nation to civilian rule.

July 7, 1998: A day shy of one month after Abacha’s death and with hopes rising that Chief Moshood Abiola’s mandate will finally be recognised and restored, the nation received heartrending and very controversial news. Chief MKO had died in custody. News of his death triggered riots, especially in Lagos.

Thirteen days later, on 20th of July, 1998, General Abubakar promised to transfer power to civilians on May 29, 1999.

Building upon the military leader’s promise, the Peoples Democratic Party organised itself on the 31st of August.

A draft constitution was released on September 7 and by November 3, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo declared his intention to run for the presidency.

1999 – 2015: BIRTH OF A NEW ERA

In January of 1999, elections to elect governors and legislators for the 36 states took place, by the 28th of January, former finance minister Olu Falaye was selected as flagbearer for the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Ogbonnaya Onu was chosen by the All Peoples Party (APP) on February 14th, 1999, and by the 15th day of February 1999, Obasanjo won the PDP ticket.

Two days later, on February 17th, 1999, INEC cleared Obasanjo and Falaye for the presidential election.

In May, a new constitution was adopted based on the 1979 constitution and on the 29th, Abubakar transferred power to the winner of the elections, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

The nation continued then on to run a 4-year term with the maximum terms being two.

In 2003, Obasanjo won a second term presidential bid and would rule for four more years. He would eventually hand over to another democratically elected leader in the person of Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua who only ruled for two years and died of ill health.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was Vice President at the time would take up the mantle, finish his principal’s remaining two years and win for another four years making a total of six (up until 2011).

Jonathan would attempt again to be President for a second term but his ambition was cut short as he lost to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

2018-2019: ‘ATONEMENT’

In 2000, a year after the return to civil rule, Nigeria’s Democracy Day was celebrated for the first time on May 29th, marking the day the country returned to democratic rule.

However, on June 12th, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a shift in this date from May 29th to June 12th, as from the year 2019 in honour of the June 12 struggle and the heroes of the struggle.

President Buhari had on the June 6th, 2018 announced the posthumous award of the title Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), meant only for Presidents.

The late iconic human rights lawyer Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) and Abiola’s running mate in the presidential election, Babagana Kingibe, were also given national honours.

The honours were officially conferred on them on June 12, 1998.

On May 16, 2019, the Senate passed the bill seeking to recognise June 12 as Democracy Day and a public holiday.

On Monday, June 10, 2019, President Buhari signed the Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill into law, officially making June 12 Democracy Day.

June 12, 2019: Nigeria marked Democracy Day for the first time on June 12 and President Buhari proposed the renaming of the Abuja National Stadium as Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

Democracy Day: Nigeria Celebrates 20 Years Of Uninterrupted Civil Rule

 

Nigeria is marking the first celebration of Democracy Day on June 12 today, and the Federal Government is marking the day with a ceremony at the Eagle Square in the nation’s capital.

The ceremony, which will feature a colorful parade, will be attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, leaders of the National Assembly, foreign leaders and diplomats.

 

Today’s Democracy Day has the added significance of marking 20 years after the return to civil rule in Nigeria.

 

For 18 years, starting in the year 2000, Nigeria celebrated Democracy Day on May 29, which was the day the military handed power back to civilians in 1999 after almost 16 years in power.

 

However, in June 2018 after the Federal Government posthumously honoured the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, Presidential election, with the title of GCFR, the process to make June 12 Democracy Day started.

 

That process was concluded on Monday, June 10 when President Buhari signed the Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill into law.

The new law accommodates June 12 as a public holiday in Nigeria, replacing May 29, which will now only be marked as a handover/inauguration of new governments in the country.

See More Photos Below.

Buhari Asks Law Enforcement Agencies To Tackle Financial Corruption

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked law enforcement agencies in the country and the continent to tackle financial corruption in the political system.

President Buhari who spoke at the National Democracy Day anti-corruption summit in Abuja, the president expressed his regrets over recent political experiences which he said, was characterized by corruption and influence of money on party politics and electioneering processes, a practice with dire consequences for the nation.

“I urge all law enforcement agencies and the judiciary in Nigeria and across Africa to tackle financial corruption in our political system and control electoral spending and voter-inducement.”

READ ALSO: NASS Leadership: Buhari Describes Lawan, Gbajabiamilas Victories As New Dawn

He mentioned close existing legislative loopholes, facilitate collaboration with the judiciary and strengthen the criminal justice system as key areas his second tenure hopes to tackle corruption.

Meanwhile, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, said the anti-corruption fight should take a holistic approach.

“We tend to focus on the petty corruption of everyday life while turning a blind eye to the more consequential forms that people only whisper about because the rich and powerful are the main benefits.”

June 12 Is Really A Democracy Day – Senator Mamora

A former lawmaker in the sixth Assembly, Senator Oloruninbe Mamora

 

A former lawmaker who served in the Sixth Assembly, Senator Oloruninbe Mamora, says June 12 is the ideal day for the celebration of democracy in Nigeria.

He stated this on Wednesday during an interview on The Inauguration, which aired live on Channels Television.

“June 12 in terms of democracy is a reflection of a point at a time in history. So it will be separated now, the celebration will still come on June 12 as democracy day.

“Hitherto, this time May 29 has been regarded as Democracy Day from 1999. So there’s a change now to accord the true importance to that day which is June 12.

READ ALSO: Jonathan, Obasanjo Absent At Buharis Inauguration

“It’s not even right to say no celebration (on May 29). It is just a low-key one to separate it from June 12 which is really a day of celebration of democracy, he stated.

When asked if the declaration of June 12 as democracy day part of a political bargain was, Mamora replied saying: ‘It is not an issue of compensation, its an issue of addressing reality’.

Speaking on the rejection of the Electoral Amendment Bill, Mamora explained that the President has his best reasons for doing so.

According to the former lawmaker, the timing for the bill was wrong considering the closeness to the general elections.

“Mr President must have had his own reservations somehow along the line. To the best of my knowledge, the timing of the amendment in the Electoral Act was one of the issues Mr President mentioned.

Mamora argued that having been a signatory to the ECOWAS position on electoral reforms, the President knew that 6 months or less than 6 months should not be the time for introducing amendments into electoral acts of any member state.