June 12 and the rebound of truth

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When he wrote in Julius Ceaser that the evil that men do live after them, legendary Writer, Williams Shakespeare, was alluding to the fact that evil deeds in history are often more easily remembered than the good ones. A cursory dip into any history book will confirm this. In Julius Ceaser, one of the purposes of Mark Antony’s speech is to mitigate any evils that Caesar may have committed while highlighting the good that he did.

It is often said that history is written by the victors. In the immediate aftermath of Caesar’s assassination it is the conspirators who are the victors. And as such they are keen to rewrite the history of Caesar’s rule to their advantage. Mark Antony’s speech is a subtle attempt to stop them from doing this. Not only is he absolutely determined to ensure that Caesar’s good name will live on, he is also going to do whatever he can to make sure that the evil of the conspirators, their bloody act of treachery, will not only be punished, but never forgotten.

In the annals of our country’s political history, June 12 remains a watershed. That is the truth that some do not want to hear. But then, truth does not become truth because it is validated by man. No matter the depth of denials, truth remains what it is: The truth.

The truth is that, no matter how hard its antagonists try, for many reasons, June 12 will continue to be a defining moment in the annals of our nation’s political history. It was the day that Nigerians expressed a strong resolve to chart a new course for their beloved country. It was the day that Nigerians redefined and reshaped the nation’s political scenery. Prior to that time, our

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June 12 is at the soul of our democratic struggle; a threshold in our national life

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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 aggrandise the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No! The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people.

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 more 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?

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, … Read More...