By proclaiming June 12 the new Democracy Day in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to frontally take on his two former military colleagues and erstwhile heads of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida.
Hitherto, President Obasanjo had on May 29, 1999, the day he was sworn in as civilian President, after about 16 years of military rule, declared May 29 as Democracy Day, which is to be observed every year as public holiday. Since then, the country has continued to mark the day as Democracy Day, which is backed by an act of Parliament.
But in a surprise move, President Buhari a few days ago, after he had observed May 29 as Democracy Day for three conservative years, decided to change that date to June 12.
June 12, 1993, was the day of Presidential election was held in the country, which was presumably won by Chief MKO Abiola but which the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida had annulled.
The belief is that for Buhari, June 12 as the new Democracy Day will rubbish May 29, which Obasanjo had earlier proclaimed as Democracy Day, while at the same wreck up an old wound by reminding IBB of his ignorable past in annulling the Presidential election which both local and international observers had adjudged as freest in the country.
Ironically, Buhari did not remember to declare June 12 as Democracy Day until fell out with both OBJ and IBB.
But as the saying goes, while one of Buhari’s fingers may be pointing at his politics opponents, his other four fingers are pointing at himself because he has failed to realize that there was no much difference between June 12, 1993, the day an undeclared election was annulled by IBB, and December 31,1983, when GMB himself had toppled the democratically electedvcivil government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Thus, if June 12 is to be declared Democracy Day, December 31, should equally be declared Democracy Destruction Day and PMB told to account for it.
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