Nigerians have been called upon not to allow their inalienable rights to choose those people they want to govern them to be subverted by anti-democratic forces.
This was the kernel of the message of the Governor of the State of Osun on Thursday, 12th June, 2014 at the 2014 edition of the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late businessman, MKO Abiola.
Speaking at the commemorative event at the Nelson Mandela Park, Oosgbo, Aregbesola, said what the country desperately needed is true democracy, which must be nurtured for it to develop, progress and stable.
The governor said the people have come a long way in its remembrance of the callousness of the military for the annulment of the most free and fair election in the history of the country.
According to him, the annulment that presidential election dragged the nation to anarchy, which it is yet to extricate itself till today.
He cautioned Nigerians to make sure that such ominous event does not repeat itself again.
He averred that only the people, who do not have agenda for the masses of the people, revel in backwardness of its people and country.
“What is important for us is that democracy must be nurtured in our society if we are really interested in the progress, security and peace.
“With the annulment of June 12, 1993, the nation teteered into a state of anarchy. That annulment set us back politically, economically and spiritually.
“There is an eternal struggle between forces of light and that of darkness. So, there will always be a conflict in the society between those committed to serving the people and those who intend to serve themselves and their pocket.
“Therefore, those whohave no agenda for the people are the ones who revel in backwardness and retrogression,”Aregbesola said.
He added that the essence of the June 12 celebration is to domesticate the consequences of that obnoxious act of the military and guard against a re-occurrence.
He disclosed that good governance the winner of the June 12 annuled election, MKO Abiola, promised Nigerian is what his (Aregbesola’s) government is offering the people of Osun today.
The governor called on the Federal Government to therefore, recognise Abiola as the winner of that presidential election and give him a posthumous rights and privileges attached to him as elected president of the nation.
He called on the people of the state to come out en mass to vote and defend their votes.
He continued: “Nothing must intimidate us in making sure we vote and that our votes count.
“It is the power of the people that secures and protects the votes. The forces of the people is much more superior than the barrel of guns.
“Therefore, don’t allow anyone to hooding you into parting with your cards. That is you power to choose the people you want to lead you.”
Ealier in his lecture, Dr. Samuel Afolabi Olugbega of the Political Science Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said the clampdown on newspapers in Nigeria and disruption of rallies of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ekiti portend danger to free, fair and credible election.
The don noted that the inability of politicians to play by the rules also endagers electoral system.
“This is where government of the State of Osun comes in. As a coordination unit in the Nigerian federation, it behooves on Ogbeni Aregbesol to ensure the coduct of credible elections.
“His government’s programme of free qualitative education, social security, human capital development, employment and poverty eradication, to mention a few, are key steps in ensuring and guaranteeing free, fair and credible elections as we approach the August 9 governorship election in the state and the 2014 general election.
“Evidence that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s government is working and trying in this area is the low level of political violence in the State of Osun,” Olugbega said.