Since the return of Nigeria’s nascent democracy in 1999, Nigeria will celebrate her democracy day for the first time this year, on June 12. Speaking at a program organized to evaluate the one year in office of the Ogun state democratic government of Dapo Abiodun and Noimot Salako. The guest speaker, SALAKO, Oladimeji who spoke on the theme ; “Knock The Door And It Shall Be Open ; Reviewing a year of consistent knocks- A case study of Aworiland” says that the decision of government to choose June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day contrary to May 29 it use to be is thoughtful and a welcome development.
He said June 12 1993 remain the most symbolic date in the historiography of Nigeria’s democracy. It was the day that the most peaceful, credible, fair and religiously insensitive election in the history of Nigeria was annulled. Chief MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party SDP had won the election that was later anulled by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida without any legitimate nor plausible reason.
Salako Oladimeji said, June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day is a welcome idea, but nothing shoud prevent other political divisions and sub-divisions of Nigeria to introspect into their past and find similar obnoxious event as it has happened within their political territory, to specially mark their own democracy day. He acknowledged this idea as imperative and will also be useful as a reflection which will in turn foster people’s effort on consolidating democracy.
He argued, nothing can be more important in a democracy than “community participation”, vis a vis evaluating it’s effect. Thus it is necessary for different levels of government to adopt a day that better describe and signifies their own democratic hiccups.
He cited an instance of Ado/Odo-Ota L.G which falls within the ecology of the lecture. He noted that political elites in the local government had adopted the usage of “caucus election” as the process of selecting the chairman of Ado/Odo-Ota local government transition committee.
Introspecting into the background, Salako Oladimeji narrated that the Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun had instructed party leaders across all the local government including Ado/Odo-Ota LG to nominate those who will act as local government council managers pending the time a substantive occupant will be popularly elected as enshrined in the constitution. It was well reported that the nine of such leaders in Ado/Odo-Ota LG headed by the Deputy Governor of the state, Her Excellency Noimot Salako had gathered somewhere in Lagos on 21st October 2019, and therefore; (i) adopt election as the process of selection (ii) agreed to elect from three nominees who later scored as follows; Kazeem Aina (1 vote), Wasiu Lawal (2 votes) and Segun Ojolowo (5 votes).
However the election which was supervised by the Deputy Governor was annulled because the winner of the process, in person of Segun Ojolowo who polled the highest numbers of votes was not the choice of some few, a desperate agenda championed by a former senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, Senator Akin Odunsi who was said to have stood up after the voting outcome, to declare that the election cannot stand. However it is only logical to conclude that, since the deputy Governor who served in that process as an electoral umpire failed to announce the legitimate winner, she has therefore consented that the election should be null and void. Making her a part to that fraudulent process.
Thereafter, Wasiu Lawal who had 2 votes was appointed as the chairman of the council. The event, is no doubt synonymous with the June 12 saga and will continue to linger in the memory of the people.
Sequel to that ugly development, SALAKO Oladimeji hereby urges the people of Ado/Odo-Ota LG to recognize Oct 21st as their informal democracy day, and that should stand without drawing parallel against June 12 as declared by the federal government being the formal democracy day in the country.
He concluded that, remembrance of October 21 2019 will always be a day of reflection on the brutal rape and murder of democracy, noting that such will enable the people to avoid a reocurence.