A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Mr Emmanuel Ogidi, says national recognition of June 12 is platform for Nigerians to emulate late Moshood Abiola and speak up for a better Nigeria.
Ogidi, who is National Vice Chairman, South-South, of the party, told News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday that citizens should stand up for the principles of democracy.
He said that though Nigeria had practised democracy for 20 unbroken years, it was unfortunate and sad that the country had not developed at expected rate.
He said that the “banditry’’ experienced in the 2019 general elections and high magnitude of violence and military interference witnessed in the nation’s democratic rule did not reflect the will of the people and were unnecessary.
He said that democracy as being practised now in the country had drowned the legacy of Abiola and what he stood for as a true Nigerian leader.
He alleged that there were some individuals behind the scene responsible for the undemocratic activities in the country, saying that the plan of such persons was to introduce autocracy in the polity.
Ogidi, however, said that autocracy would not work in Nigeria as the country had developed far beyond that realm.
“Yes, PDP took a stand for the National Assembly elections and we told our members that we know that some lawmakers had been threatened and coerced to vote for a particular candidate.
“And, because we are all not clean, you have one baggage or the other, they will use it against you; so sad that democracy was murdered on Tuesday in the National Assembly.
“I still believe that there is hope and that the Judiciary will do something; that is why the PDP is in court for the outcome of the 2019 elections and I pray that God will keep us alive to see that day.
“The bible says that there is time for everything; this is the time to speak; if we all stand up to speak as we did on June 12, Nigeria will be a better place,’’ he said.
Ogidi urged Nigerians to remain law-abiding as the country would soon enjoy good leadership and achieve the dreams of the founding fathers.
On power distribution across geo-political zones in the country, he said that he still believed in federal character, though the current power distribution in the country did not reflect the policy.
He also stated that insecurity and its solution should be in the front burner of national matters as cases of kidnapping were escalating to the extent of abducting a traditional ruler in President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown.
The PDP chieftain remarked that the display by the Armed Forces at the Democracy Day celebration was supposed to give the citizens confidence, but noted that most citizens still felt unsafe in going about their daily activities.
According to him, people now prefer to travel by train rather than road, including top government officials, because of fear.
Ogidi said that armed youths were kidnapping and collecting ransom in millions of naira while others had committed suicide as result of lack of jobs.
“We see people cross the ocean to Europe and America and a lot have lost their lives in the process; some have migrated to other geo-political zones all in search of green pasture.
“Let me thank the Niger Delta youths for keeping calm and maintaining peace in the oil region; every local government area has enough natural resources that can sustain the country.
“There is need for a deliberate policy to tap and utilize them for the benefit of all,’’ he said.
Edited by Remi Koleoso and Olisa Ifeajika