June 12th should not be celebrated as Democracy Day- says elder statesman, Abdulmalik

From Desmond Mgboh, Kano

An elder statesman and leading member of the Retired Army Navy Airforce Officers Association, Yusuf Abdulmalik  has expressed objection to the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy day on June 12th.

Abdulmalik, 83 and current Publicity Secretary of the ex military officers association, told Saturday Sun, that many Nigerians were at home with May 29th as Democracy day

“They were confortable with May 29th until it was altered to June 12th to serve the immediate political interests of the Buhari administration who was desperate to enlist the support of the South- West,” he asserted.

He further told Saturday Sun that the Late Chief M K O Abiola and the circumstances surrounding his passage were not the most glorious or the highest point of democratic experience in Nigeria

“While I agree that an act of injustice was done against him, that he died in the struggle for the actualization of his mandate, I also remember that he was close to the military of that era and was one the early patrons of money politics in Nigeria, which we are still grappling with,” he said.

The octogenarian, who said he was expressing a personal view, lamented that Nigerians have really nothing to celebrate on June 12th or even after the date, given the extreme and unprecedented hardship across the country.

“Where are the dividends of democracy that we were promised during the elections? There are killings and banditry almost every day; there is severe hunger in almost every home and there is corruption in low and high places? Are these what we should take a holiday to rejoice about,” he queried.

He advised the present government to listen more and to widen its consultation net to accommodate experienced and retired security officers in an advisory capacity to assist in addressing the problems affecting the land

He also enjoined the administration to strive to reduce the cost of living in the land while urging Nigerians to return to farm in order to boost agricultural production.

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