Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has described the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari as a “tribute to courage”.
Oyetola stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Friday in Osogbo to mark Democracy Day.
He said June 12 was symbolic of Nigerians’ collective resolve to set aside their differences and sentiments to achieve a collective vision in the face of the stiffest of oppositions.
The governor congratulated President Buhari for actualising what he termed “long yearnings of the people,” saying that June 12 was a reminder that Nigerians had what it takes to defend their democracy.
“I, therefore, extend deep gratitude to President Buhari for actualising the long yearnings of the people for the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day.
“The day they freely gave their mandate to a candidate of their choice, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola in an election regarded worldwide as the freest election in Nigeria.
“June 12 is symbolic of our collective resolve to set aside our differences and sentiments and speak as one people to achieve our collective vision even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions.
“It is a reminder that we have all it takes to defend our democracy,” Oyetola said.
The governor described post-June 12, 1993, as the Nigeria’s longest democratic experience.
He said that the mere fact that it had endured for over two decades and still counting was an indication that Nigerians were “on the path of interminable democracy, enduring good governance and sustainable development’’.
Relaying the Osun democratic experience in the last 21 years, Oyetola said the state had adopted democratic tenets in all it did.
He said the government was carrying the people along in formulating policies and ensuring that the dividends of democracy were distributed equitably in all the sectors across the state.
He paid glowing tributes to the state’s legislature and the judiciary for extending their hands of fellowship and cooperation to the executive without compromising their independence and integrity.
The governor also thanked the people of the state for their support, noting that their cooperation contributed largely to the modest achievements the administration had so far recorded in the last 18 months.