Wednesday, 14 June 2017

June 12: Memories linger on!


A day that symbolically unites my mother and father land; that makes everybody, both men and women alike devoted to a new beginning.

I was twelve years and a handful of days old and the series of events before and the day; SDP's (Social Democratic Party) and NRC's (National Democratic Convections),  presidential candidates - Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and Bashir Tofa,  respectively; contested are vividly remembered.

Before election day; there was so much peace, happiness and great hope that our country would once again be great in this continent of Africa. I was walking a distance to school the year I moved from elementary education to secondary school level in 1993. I remember how I will travel with Kehinde, chatting and feeling good about life.

You cannot escape being caught up: seeing posters from streets to streets; different political parties in their colourful regalia, police and soldiers; politicians knocking at your door;  smiling and unnecessarily being nice and kind. You cannot but also; want the show to continue, but a day has already be mentioned nationally in Nigeria.We awoke to the truth!

Little did we realize that the events before and on the day will not be as memorial as the day the main actor left us in a national struggle. Should we all sit down and let military domination continue after the election of June 12, 1993; the first since the 1983 military coup; was nullified?

I choose to leave history for historians; Nigerians, on that account left one military domination into a struggle that many citizens would live to experience and tell a story about. Demonstration of democracy and living in it are different from enforcement and brutality of military years of ruling our nation but the tragic death of the actor; who unanimously paved the way to modern day Nigeria cannot be forgotten.

How can a main actor of a play die when the stage is set?! Is it out of stage fright? However, the elections were later annulled by military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, leading to a crisis that ended with Sani Abacha heading a coup later in the year. We know their names, as the audience of the main actor; who was thrown in captivity because of his role.

You have no idea how these series of events during military rule and introduction of democracy in Nigeria changed my life. Maybe for my good or bad, right or wrong or a slice of each but I am what I am as an ambassador of my country. You can analyze the good, bad, right and wrong; it will always shape our country in a case that is equal to other countries. No other countries is naive to these elements of good, bad, right and wrong!

7 July 1998; the actor passed away, the play stopped and his faithful followers went agog setting ablaze the prestigious stage that we always cherished, cared for, and shared. Nobody could believe that a play that barely started would end like that!

Our life and hope in a new country as Nigerians were shattered; not only that the first, most peaceful and fair election was nullified, or that M.K.O. died in prison but how long will it take us as a country to be free from military brutality, corruption, economical upheavals, and so on?! While a new military regime took over Nigeria survived!

My country has always find tranquility no matter the cost. The death of a military general paved the way! One thing lead to another; and Presidential elections were held in Nigeria on 27 February 1999. These were the first elections since the 1993 military coup, carried out by the late military general and the first elections of the Fourth Nigerian Republic. The result was a victory for Olusegun Obasanjo of the People's Democratic Party, who defeated Olu Falae, who was running on a joint Alliance for Democracy-All People's Party ticket.

25 years after the first democratic elections in Nigeria and M.K.O. is still in my mind. June 12's memories still linger on. How can I forget the bitterness expressions on people's faces, the violence and hardship that followed the annulment of the same election, or the nation-wide protests, vandalism, killings, abuses, assaults after he passed away, or the economy crisis that befell my motherland?

For a man to die for others to live is for a messiah; the very one that is likened to the son of God! Is an understatement that M.K.O. is the father of democracy; he's the father of a new country that he never witnessed!

Nigeria is currently going through different democracy phases; the ones far away from what M.K.O. envisioned. But our struggles as a nation to be free from corrupt politicians is the new order as our old struggle slogan for military generals have long died down!

But remember; there's a reason for everything. I strongly believe in this movement that people of like minds that want a new country would unanimously work, believe and sacrifice to make it happen.

Therefore, I am using this medium to invite as many Nigerians as possible; home and away to follow me and build a new Nigeria together through: New Nigeria Congress. This is a political movement for the future.

God continue to bless my mother and father land even as I sojourn in South Africa.


By Olagunju, Success Taiwo.

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