Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, member of the Senate, has said that a deep reflection on the ill-fated struggles for the actualization of democratic rule for Nigeria through the June 12, 1993 presidential poll confirmed that the bond of unity among Nigerians was strong and invincible.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said the lingering crisis that trailed the annulment of the Nigeria’s freest and fairest June 12,1993 presidential election, was devoid of religious and tribal sentiments, which he said signposted that Nigerians were fantastically united in thought and spirit.
Saluting the martyrs and victims of the presidential election in a statement on Friday commemorating the Democracy Day Celebration, Bamidele described the supposed winner of the botched election, Chief MKO Abiola and other pro-democracy Nigerians who lost their lives as the real pillars of the country’s democracy.
“The June 12, 1993, was so symbolic in Nigeria’s political history. It represented a day when all Nigerians eschewed ethnic and tribal considerations and voted a candidate of their choices in the most recognizable democratic fashion.
“The fact that the late Abiola of the Social Democratic Party and a Yoruba man of the Southwest extraction could win in Kano, where his Chief opponent, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, hailed from, indicated that the poor masses cared less about ethnicity and tribalism.
“After the cancellation of the result by the then Military Junta, the people across South, West, East and Northwest, East and Central stood in unity to condemn the action, and they all called for the revalidation of the poll results.
“The lesson from this was that, our leaders should stop misleading the masses through divisive tribal and ethnic politics.
“An average Nigerian cares less about tribe. Their quest is for improved standard of living from any leader, wherever he may have come from.
“The task now for our leader is to devise ways of healing the wound inflicted on our nation by politicians, who looked for ethnic and religious fault lines to rip the country apart.
“Our leaders must return us to the pre and pro June 12, 1993 days for our nation to regain its strength of unity and bounce back to global reckoning as a nation that waxes stronger in unity”, Bamidele counseled.