Politics

I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Abiola; he did not mean to deceive Nigerians. June 12 cannot be public holiday when Nigerians are hungry – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has stated that it is not enough to declare June 12 a public holiday when people are hungry in Nigeria.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when a disproportionate number of citizens are not sure of where their next meal will come from and when the sanctity of their lives is not guaranteed,” the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 Presidential Election, said.

He further added that it is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of speech is being assailed.

“It is not enough to declare June 12 a work-free day when freedom of the press, and of speech, fundamentals of democracy is being assailed,” Atiku added in his statement issued in Abuja earlier today.

Atiku noted that he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the late Chief MKO Abiola and he understood firsthand that the choice of HOPE as Abiola’s campaign slogan was not merely a populist tokenism.

He noted that Abiola’s vision for Nigeria was not to deceive Nigerians with promises he could not deliver.

“Today, the minimum requirement for any June 12 convert is to demand of them wherever they may be – either in government or in private lives – to deliver on the promises they made to the people.”

“June 12 is about the political leadership having the focus to retool the Nigerian economy.

“It is about having the skills to create wealth and jobs for the teeming mass of unemployed. It is not about the inclination for shared pains; it is about shared prosperity.

“As we celebrate yet another episode of the June 12 struggle, the desire for hope is more preponderant today much as it was 26 years ago. “So, for all true lovers of democracy, let us keep the hope alive.”

Atiku had earlier stated that; June 12 demands something bigger than mere Democracy Day, it’s a day to ask “how better off are Nigerians?”

“June 12 is at the soul of our democratic struggle; a threshold in our national life.

“The significance of the celebration of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election is a reminder of our history to becoming a democratic country.

“On this day 26 years ago, Nigeria voted for democracy against the jackboot notion of oppressive totalitarianism.

“The collective decision by Nigerians to elect democracy on that day was not to aggrandise the political elite or to replace military dictatorship with civilian autocracy. No.

“The choice of democracy was to restore power to the people,” Atiku June 12 statement read.

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