The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has congratulated Nigerians on the celebration of June 12 as its new democracy day, urging all citizens to work toward achieving the greater unity we once shared.
This is even as the council has commended President Muhammmadu Buhari for naming the National Stadium in Abuja after the late MKO Abiola.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday to commemorate the new Democracy Day, President of the NYCN Almustapha Asuku said that June 12 reminded Nigerians of a time when the nation was united.
He said that in June 12 1993, Nigerins from every tribe and religion, unanimously jettisoned their orientation to vote for two Muslim candidates from the South West and the North as President and vice.
He urged Nigerians to strive to re-imbibed the spirit of that unity that was exhibited in 1993 and before.
“For the first time since 1999, Nigerians are celebrating Democracy Day on June 12, instead of May 29 which was the case in the past 25 years.
“June 12 carries huge significance for older Nigerians especially the youths of this great nation. It was on this date in 1993 that presidential elections were held for the first time since the 1983 military coup.
“It was an event many observers have described as the most significant in Nigeria’s post-independence political history. It is still viewed as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election ever held in Nigeria.
“Fellow Comrades, you will recall that many young people paid the ultimate price during the June 12 struggle and I will use this medium to admonish us to build on the significant of today’s celebration of Democracy day to promote those things that strengthened our Unity in Diversity.
“This day in 1993 as Nigerians we jettisoned our diverse ethnic backgrounds, religious differences and social orientations to Vote Chief MKO Abiola and Babagana Kindigbe, both Muslim as the President and Vice president of Nigeria.
“Though the unfolding events after this election was annulled were not palatable to us as a nation but we still came out of it stronger,” he said.
He urged youths across the country to reignite the spirit of patriotism and Nationalism so as to promote peaceful co-existence, while shunning any form of activity that constitutes threat to the nation.
“Let me use this opportunity in congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on today’s celebration and in appreciating him for yielding to the yearnings of the Nigeria people through the signing of the bill making June 12 as DEMOCRACY DAY in Nigeria.
“I also thank him for further recognising MKO Abiola by naming the Abuja Stadium after the late statesman,” he said.