Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has enjoined Nigerians to learn and hold on to the lessons inherent in the historic June 12 election of 1993.
Though he described the period as a dark chapter in Nigeria’s chequered political history, Atiku said Nigerians must not lose the lessons “as we build our democracy to greater heights.”
He said though the annulment of the election, MKO Abiola won, was a major setback, his consolation is that it made Nigerians more united to resist dictatorship and entrench democracy.
Atiku said the illegal cancellation of the results of the 1993 presidential election was not a personal loss to Abiola, but a loss to Nigeria and its democracy.
He expressed pains at the circumstances under which Abiola, whom he described as “a good man” whose only primary reason for joining the race was to offer selfless service to the ordinary Nigerians, was arrested and eventually died in government’s custody.
“Such gross injustice was unspeakably cruel,” he said.
But he decried the “opportunism of some Nigerian politicians” which he said contributed to the destruction of democracy, saying “most of those who aided and abetted General Abacha’s self-succession agenda were politicians.”
However, the former vice president said the most important lesson on June 12 is that Nigerians should be united in the defence of democracy and resist the divide and rule tactics of the enemies of democracy.