Purpose of June 12 unrealised, says lawmaker
•‘Struggle for true democracy continues’
The purpose of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election, which was to enthrone “true democracy”, has not been realised, Lagos State House of Assembly member Mr. Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho 1) has said.
The election was won by the late Bashorun MKO Abiola.
Yusuf said it was sad that “those who were not part of the struggle, who murdered it, buried it and benefited from its annulment make up the government at the centre”.
He said: “They do not appreciate the day, which is why they celebrate May 29 as Democracy Day. How can this be? May 29 was the day the military junta handed over power to civilians. June 12 was the day ethnicity in Nigeria was cancelled. There was no upper, middle or lower class; it was the day a new Nigeria was born. They murdered June 12, but they cannot murder the tendency. The struggle is still on.”
Asked if Nigeria was moving forward democratically, the politician said he would have said no, but democracy was moving on in the 16 states controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said there were some problems, but the party was progressively inclined.
Yusuf described the emergence of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano as a good development.
He said Sanusi was born into royalty, reached the peak of his career as a banker and ascended the throne of his forefathers, adding: “As his classmate in the university, he would tell us that he is a prince. The way he talked, you would know that he would one day ascend the throne. So, the royalty is there. You cannot say he is not qualified. There is a procedure for selecting Emirs in the emirate and they followed it. What is the business of the Federal Government in the selection of a traditional ruler? The kingmakers found him worthy and I am happy for him.
“We used to call him SLS. He used to carry big novels about and he is very brilliant. I am happy for the country because he is well equipped to lead the people.”
On the alleged imposition of candidates by the APC, Yusuf said it was not true.
He said the party presents candidates who had been groomed over the years, adding: “What imposition are we talking about? You do not just make allegations that you cannot substantiate. There is no guideline for choosing people for elective posts; we follow the regulations of our party. You can channel your grievances through the party as a good party man, if you have any. Your criticism must not be hearsay; not beer parlour talks. I urge our people to beware of people who parade themselves as party men, but who are not.
“That was what they said when Governor Babatunde Fashola was chosen as the party’s governorship candidate years back. Can you now say he is not capable to be the governor? He is the right man for the post; well groomed and excellent. A leader must be able to see far more than his members. Let them tell us who is not capable of representing his constituency among those of us in the Assembly.”
Yusuf urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Attahiru Jega to see the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states as test cases, adding: “He should allow one man, one vote strictly and see what happens. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) might find it difficult to get 20 per cent of the votes in Ekiti State. They would not even get 10 per cent in Osun State. I am confident that we will win both states. I hope they will allow the polls to be fair.”
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