June 12 is turning point in Nigeria’s political journey, says Governor Abiodun

The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has admitted that, the June 12, 1993 Presidential election mandate was a turning point for Nigeria’s democracy which also played a significant role in the country’s political journey as an entity.

Penpushing reports Abiodun made this known this while speaking on Monday during the celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day held at Moshood Abiola International stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, stressing that the significance of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was won by Abiola but annulled by then military government was a reference point.

The Governor at the well-attended ceremony which had in attendance various stakeholders attributed the loyalty of President Bola Tinubu to the late Abiola as a key factor in his becoming the president of Nigeria.

Penpushing further reports that Abiodun however, praised the former president, Muhammad Buhari for proclaming June 12 as Nigeria Democracy Day and Abiola as GCFR.

“June 12 is a turning point in Nigeria’s political journey as an entity”. His (Tinubu) loyalty to Abiola, who is widely regarded as a symbol of democracy in Nigeria, may be seen as a positive factor for his presidential prospects. I commend and salute the former president Muhammadu Buhari for proclaiming MKO Abiola as GCFR’, he said.

The Chairman Editorial Board of Penpushing Media, Funke Fadugba who was a guest speaker at the ceremony pointed out that democracy remains an important factor of good governance and development in necessity in our society.

‘As beautiful and important as   democracy is, it could become an albatross if it is not supported by a right climate and values. For instance where people’s participation is lacking a, basic ingredient democracy is already missing’, she stated

‘If we are to ask this gathering to enumerate the challenges confronting our nation today, there is no doubt that the list will be endless, because it is a fact, that we know the problems and we can come up with a lot of ideas on how to solve the them’, Fadugba added.

‘There are some of us that can even make the analysis of all the problems in the land and solve them completely on paper in the course of a single discussion. Albeit, that’s why our forefathers said “ẹnu dun un rofọ, agada ọwọ ṣe é ṣanko!” Better said, than done!’, she said.

‘However, the germane question to ask is, whose responsibility is it to address the long list of challenges confronting us? Kindly allow me to say it is our collective responsibility, but with right values and climate’, Fadugba stated.

‘It is our responsibility as citizens to participate  truthfully and responsibly in the process of deepening democracy, We are obligated to contribute to the efforts to make our democracy stronger .The citizens, government, our leaders are expected to provide the platform to enhance our good governance and Development’

‘It is gratifying to observe that leaders in Ogun State have been championing participatory democracy in Nigeria. From Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to Chief Dauda Adegbenro, to MKO Abiola, Olusegun Obasanjo, the Sofolas from Ikenne, Oba Akinsanya, Odemo of Isara, Bisi Onabanjo, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, Prof. Afolabi Olabimtan, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye, Chief Olusegun Osoba etc.’

‘These are the few I can quickly recall now regarding the eminent personalities who played participatory political government in Nigeria, who are from Ogun State and it is on record how Egba United Government practiced self-government where powers (offices) were shared among the subgroups that made up Egbaland’.

‘Ogun State, I believe, has continued to take great strides in this direction through strategies such as the creation of Ogun Elders Consultative Council, to give voice to elders of the state to advise government in various aspects of governance’.

‘The late Prince Bola Ajibola was once the Chair. Similarly, the government is allowing input of the public in budget preparation and public presentation yearly and the government meets regularly with traditional councils to brief and carry them along in the area the process of governance’.

‘Let me equally acknowledge that the government holds talks with organized labor and trade unions as part of the process for ensuring citizens participation in the governance of the state while reaching out to religious groups, associations and interest groups’.

‘All these are designed to encourage public input and participation in the running of the state affairs and there is need to strengthen and sustain such efforts but most importantly, there is need to do more’, Fadugba said.

‘What is the present situation with regular village square/town hall meetings? I’m not sure, there is still the monthly ministerial briefing at Oke – Mosan where citizens have the unrestricted opportunity to ask questions relating to their well-being and development from the leaders. We need to resuscitate these, to endear the government to the people and promote inclusive government’.

‘Permit me, in wrapping up this intervention to canvass for a state orientation agency to ensure that, any critical policy, whether at the state or federal level would be adequately interpreted and communicated to the people’.

‘This will further help in managing people’s emotions and encourage them to key into such programmes even ahead of implementation. A democratic government should not be reactionary but proactive in human management’, she emphasised.

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