June 12: We must not take democracy for granted – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has disclosed that the choice of Nigerians to elect a civilian leader to transit from the military rule was the seed that germinated into the longest democratic institution that the country is enjoying.

The president stated this during a National Broadcast to mark the June 12 Democracy Day on Monday in Abuja.

He said that this was largely due to MKO Abiola’s sacrifice to patriotically stand in defense of the ideals of democracy and forgo a life of ease and capitulation in the face of tyranny of power.

’For the endless future that our beloved country shall exist and wax stronger and stronger, generations of Nigerians will always remind themselves that the democracy that is steadily growing to become the defining essence of our polity was not gifted to us on a silver platter.

‘’We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled.

‘’He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defense of the ideals of democracy as symbolized in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President.

‘’There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power. To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no.

‘’He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.’’

Tinubu said the country also owed a debt of gratitude to other Pro-June 12 advocates that sacrificed their lives for the future of the people.

‘’Everyday, on this day, down the ages we will recall the several other 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 Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy. They gave their yesterday for the liberty that is ours today.

’The point is that we must never take this democracy for granted. We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel. For, a people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it,’’ he said.

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