The Federal Government (FG) had declared Monday 30 May, 2016 as a holiday in lieu of Sunday 29 May, 2016.
This date (29th May) has been earmarked as Democracy Day since 1999.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) hereby declares its misgivings about the choice of 29th May of every year as Democracy Day.
Going down memory lane, Nigerians will recall that 29th May is so revered by FG because the military handed over to a civilian government on May 29, 1999.
But the choice of 29 May was merely an attempt to trivialize the June 12 phenomenon.
We further recall that the presidential election of June 12, 1993 remains the most orderly and most peaceful election in the annals of Nigeria’s history. The June 12 election is a most significant landmark. It is more important than May 29.
That was the only election which brought Christians, Muslims and traditionalists together under one umbrella to vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Nigerians of all tribes also jettisoned ethnic sentiment on that memorable day to vote for Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. Unfortunately the election was most criminally annulled by the military junta and the undeclared winner was bundled into detention where he eventually died after four years.
May 29 is therefore a political abracadabra concocted by the then military junta to pull the wool over our faces.
Whereas nations in other climes seek to entrench their history, Nigerian leaders are wishing away our collective memory. We aver that a people that does not know its past cannot know where it is going.
The refusal of past leaders to give due recognition to the June 12 phenomenon is partly responsible for the nation’s wobbling and fumbling till date.
MURIC charges Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to quickly address this issue. If indeed it is true that APC promised Nigerians ‘change’ (and it is) then it behoves its leaders to change the date of our Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12.
To those who appreciate the true spirit of democracy, May 29 is a historic fraud whereas June 12 is a dynamic movement.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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