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No substitute to democracy, Atiku eulogises late MKO at June 12

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Atiku Abubakar

The former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emphasized the significance of June 12 in commemorating Nigeria’s democratic journey, while urging political stakeholders to bolster their commitment to the principles and promises of democracy.

Abubakar highlighted the importance of Democracy Day in his Democracy Day address, stating, “The secondary purpose of declaring every June 12 as Democracy Day in our country is to commemorate the history of our long journey of becoming a stable democratic country. Truth be told, there’s no substitute to democracy as a form of government.”

Reflecting on the 25-year-old democratic dispensation, he paid tribute to key figures who sacrificed for Nigeria’s democratic transition, including Basorun MKO Abiola, his wife Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Tafida Shehu Yar’Adua, and Alfred Rewane.

“It is commendable that for 25 years, we have witnessed an uninterrupted season of electoral politics. It is an unprecedented epoch in our history,” Abubakar noted.

He acknowledged the efforts of the Nigerian people and political class in nurturing democracy but expressed concern over its current state, particularly its failure to deliver prosperity and liberty.

“Our democracy is not yet virile if it continually fails to deliver the promises of prosperity and liberty to the people,” he remarked.

Abubakar criticized the past nine years under the All Progressives Congress (APC) for causing significant hardship, poverty, and insecurity.

“The ruling All Progressives Congress is to blame for bringing forth this dawn of gloom,” he asserted.

However, he placed greater responsibility on the opposition parties for not effectively uniting to challenge the ruling party.

“The opposition political parties are even more guilty than the ruling party for the seeming lack of capacity to come together and galvanize a coalition that will retire the ruling party and articulate a plan of good governance that will earn the conviction of Nigerians,” he said.

Today, the failings of the opposition parties to uphold the functionality of their existence is the major threat to our democracy. The earlier they realize that the fortunes of Nigeria lie in their forging a coalition, the better it will be for our country and the people.”

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