By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
The Osun Civil Societies Coalition on Friday asserted that democracy is the bedrock of development of any society in the world.
The group added that in recent time, history has been made to justify their agitations for civil and democratic rule in Nigeria.
Comrade Waheed Lawal, Chairman of the Civil Societies Coalition stated these at a press conference held in commemoration of the June 12 official Democracy Day on Friday, in Osogbo, Osun State.
In light of Nigeria’s official democracy day, Comrade Lawal averred that this special day has its historical peculiarity in the sense that Nigerians, across ethnic and religious diversities and differences for the first time as a people, consciously voted to choose their leaders freely on June 12, 1993.
“The election was adjudged to be the freest on the open ballot in our political life but was treasonably annulled by the military dictator on June 23, 1993. It was a day that Nigerians shed their blood for the enthronement of democracy. Not only that people were killed with armoured military tanks, but many were also maimed while many were taken to prisons across Nigeria. This is a serious pain for the Nigerian people.”
Comrade Lawal noted that the former governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola paved the way for the official recognition of June 12 and supported it with a public holiday, making Osun as the only state in Nigeria that steadfastly celebrates it.
“The celebration of June 12 becomes more official when the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola took a keen interest in the events.
“The State of Osun remains the only state in Nigeria since 1993 that has not wavered in the celebration of this event with a caveat every year, that Late Chief MKO Abiola should be given a posthumous honour and be declared as the winner of the June 12 election as well as giving him recognition as the president of Nigeria and declare the day as a democracy day with a national public holiday.”
The chairman commended President Buhari for his giant stride in honouring the late Chief MKO Abiola and the people of Nigeria.
He also commended Governor Gboyega Oyetola, whose administration he described as “the continuity of progressive governance laid down by his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to make people enjoy the dividend of democracy through this bottom-line development of people’s focused policies.”
He maintained that another gain of democratic rule is evident in “the zeal, dedication, single-mindedness, wisdom, tact, integrity, focus and people-oriented policies that Oyetola has invested in his governance of continuity,” which ascertained that Osun is poised to attain greater heights.
“The new horizon that we cannot gloss over in the state today, coming from
the new administration of Dr Gboyega Oyetola is the new construction of the best road networks both at the neighbourhood and major roads construction.
“The government is poised to achieve a state of the art, primary and secondary
health centres throughout the state. This is clearly evident in the current renovation of 332 local primary health centres and secondary health centres with drugs and other facilities.
“Similarly, the government has set up the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) to enable every indigene and non-indigene to have greater access to health care delivery services at the instances of the state government.”
Comrade Lawal further noted that these laudable people-focused programmes, as displayed by the All Progressive government in the State of Osun, are only achievable in a democratic and progressive government.
In addition, Osun is leading in agriculture and its employment ration is still one of the best in the country. And for peace and security, this state can beat its chest as the safest in Nigeria.
To ensure that this tempo of development is kept, sustained and maintained, all hands must be on deck to give all the necessary support for the government of the day in our dear state to succeed. Osun belongs to all of us, its future and destiny should not be compromised.
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