President Bola Tinubu says the efforts of Nigeria’s pro-democracy heroes and heroines shall never be in vain.
The President made the declaration on Tuesday in his address to the nation to mark the 2023 Democracy Day.
President Tinubu, who described the election of June 12 1993 as the freest and fairest, listed those who paid the supreme sacrifice in the struggle to sustain democracy in Nigeria.
They include Moshood Abiola, his wife Kudirat Abiola, Alfred Rewane and retired Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
“The fierce opposition to the annulment of June 12 1993 presidential election and unrelenting pro-democracy onslaught as unleashed was the equivalent of the battle against colonial rule by our founding fathers that resulted in the gaining of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
“The unjust annulment of a widely acknowledged free and fair election was a challenge that elicited resistance by a resurgent civil society, leading ultimately to the attainment of our 2nd independence as exemplified by the return of democratic governance in 1999.
“We can easily recall the sacrifice of Chief M.K.O. Abiola the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled. He sacrificed his life in yielding patriotic defence of the ideals of democracy and symbolized his choice by gis fellow countrymen and women as their duly elected President.
“On this day down the ages, we will recall the several heroes of democracy such as Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Abiola, who was brutally murdered while in the trenches fighting on the side of the people. We remember Pa Alfred Rewane; one of the heroes of our independence struggle and retired Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy,” he said.
The President said the heroes gave their yesterday for the liberty that Nigerians enjoy today. He enjoined Nigerians never to take democracy for granted but jealously guard it at all times.