Aremu:Our Politicians Must Learn from the Lessons Of June 12



Aremu2013Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who is also General Secreatry Textile Workers Union,Comrade Issa Aremu has urged Nigerian politicians to learn from the lessons of June 12 ,1993 elections which the military annulled.Aremu in a statement to mark the 20th anniversary of June 12 said “It is time our politicians learned from the lessons of 20 years ago. Never (must) we witness elections result disputations of two decades ago. This means politicians must be united to agree on the fundamentals of democracy which include peaceful contest and respect for the outcomes.
The comrade said “It is a sad commentary that the 20th anniversary of June 12th is taking place at a time the political class is divided not on desirable policies of good governance but on crude contests for power in 2015. The show of shame and impunity within the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) must give way to cohesion and unity of democratic purpose. Things must definitely fall in place politically for Nigeria for there to be sustainable development.

“All the actors in the electoral value chain must make sure things do not fall apart again as in 1993 June 12th during which anti-democratic forces used the divisions of the political class to annul elections and put the nation on reverse gear for another decade.

His statement:
JUNE 12th; THINGS MUST FALL IN PLACE FOR NIGERIA

ANNIVERSARY
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the annulment of June 12th 1993 election. The democratic aspiration of Nigerians is age-long. It was democracy that inspired the struggle for independence by our civilian democratic founding fathers. After 1966 military adventure, another distortion of democratic aspiration of Nigerians was the criminal annulment of 1993 free and fair June 12 election. Since the tragic historic event of 1993 (followed by almost a decade of political meltdown) election riggers had further perfected the art of violations of peoples’ mandates through varying subterfuges that included ballot snatching, falsifications of election results, political assassinations, as we witnessed in 2003 and 2007 elections.

SALUTE ALL NIGERIANS
We salute all Nigerians for keeping faith with democratic process notwithstanding the betrayers of some few anti-democratic forces. All Nigerians must be commended for making Nigeria a Democracy destination in Africa notwithstanding the daunting challenges. Since 1993, we have commendably had another set of elections, including “civilian-to-civilian” elections in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. Historians of elections are at liberty to assess the strength and pitfalls of each of these national elections. But they were elections nonetheless! Nobody dares to rule Nigerians again without their democratic mandate. June 12th 1993 election remained the most inclusive, most popularly contested and most acceptable nationally and globally in recent times. Sadly the military whimsical and indeed cowardly annulled the election.

The numbers of June 12th elections revealed genuine contest. Late Chief Moshood Abiola of Social Democratic party (SDP) had 8.3 million votes while Tofa of NRC had 6 million votes. Clearly the marginal margin shows keen contest compared to unfair wide margin conquest figures of our subsequent conquests that we call elections. The burden of June 12 election was non-release of that results compared to the burden of 2007 election which was absence of elections in many respects: ballot snatching, police brutality, INEC pre-determined results, elections cancellations and serial bye elections.

LESSONS OF JUNE 12
It is time our politicians learned from the lessons of 20 years ago. Never do we witness elections result disputations of two decades ago. This means politicians must be united to agree on the fundamentals of democracy which include peaceful contest and respect for the outcomes. It is a sad commentary that the 20th anniversary of June 12th is taking place at a time the political class is divided not on desirable policies of good governance but on crude contests for power in 2015. The show of shame and impunity within the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) must give way to cohesion and unity of democratic purpose. Things must definitely fall in place politically for Nigeria for there to be sustainable development.

All the actors in the electoral value chain must make sure things do not fall apart again as in 1993 June 12th during which anti-democratic forces used the divisions of the political class to annul elections and put the nation on reverse gear for another decade.

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC)
INEC under Professor Jega must be more proactive and ensure level playing fields; reward electoral compliance and sanction electoral violators now! Political parties must also practice internal democracy and stop criminalization of legitimate internal dissents. Lastly, President Jonathan and all serving governors must choose between genuine statesmanship for good governance and crude partisanship failing which the labour movement may be compelled through mass action to instill orderliness and respect for the rules of democratic engagement.

ISSA AREMU mni
VICE PRESIDENT, NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) AND ALSO GENERAL SECREATRY TEXTILE WORKERS UNION

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