JUNE 12: BEYOND PROTEST & AGITATION
June 12th 1993 remains a day to always remember in the history of Nigeria not necessarily because of the annulled election nor the election itself but rather because it was that day after the Nigeria Civil war that Nigerians defiled ethnic, religious and tribal sentiment to make a decision. However, what the aftermath of that decision would have been like was truncated by the annulment of the election.
Yes, some of the actors are still alive but the regrets and other things that followed has not made them to be able to give a proper or clear account of what led to it. Its all belated for now but the unlearnt lessons still hunt till today.
Annually from that time, June 12 was always commemorated with lectures and agitations but all geared towards sustenance of democracy. Since 1999, Nigeria was said to be practicing democracy but our kind of democracy could at best be described as civilian rule as it has several deviations from what the definition of true democracy is like.
In the Buhari led administration, he has tried to pacify Nigeria or those aggiitating for June 12 as the true Democracy Day to move the Democracy Day from May 29th to June 12th. Beyond moving the date, how has Nigerian faired with rising insecurity, loss of life and properties, economic downtown, anarchy and so many things that negates what democracy truly entails.
Protest and various forms of agitation has been on in Nigeria for years and decades but it has all had challenges which include lack of proper consolidation and ethinc, tribal or personal interest.
The various protests that rocked the Goodluck Jonathan led administration were led by some key notable persons and these same persons have seemingly kept mute under the Buhari led administration in face of worsening situation.
If we must repeat the protest or agitation on this June 12 there is the need for us to advance beyond the street as the virus that affected the #ENDSARS protect still exist.
We must note that Nigeria has a common enemy and there is an urgent need to identify this enemy that is hidden in the fabrics of religious, ethnic and tribal sentiment and objectively deal with it. The 1999 Constitution has been condemned but we all know that some regions in the country enjoy or like it as it is.
For those planning to be on the street on June 12, there is the need to sit down and ask the question
“What are we aiming to achieve this time considering what the outcome of other protest have been?”,
“Are we just going out to register our grievances, displeasure on issues that are glaring”,
“Are we going out to sensitive Nigerian on how best we can get off this system that is killing us”
If we must get it right, it should not be a wake and see thing but rather following a process of getting information (Consultation) on what the real issues are then making the people to understand what these issues are (Consolidation) before we hit the street (Confrontation) if the need would ever arise.
The 3Cs should be explored so that majority if not everyone that would eventually be on the street should know and understand why they are on the street protesting.
Again, one would ask, what kind of protest are we going to hold where:
Governors who have failed to effectively use security votes want to join;
National and State House of Assemble members who have failed to truly represent the people want to join or
Judiciary who have failed want to join.
Turning around the country, even the poorest of the poor are out wanting to oppress the next available person.
Having a protest on June 12 without clear objective and sustainability is like emphasising the obvious which is insecurity, poverty and other ills in Nigeria today.
Our focus should be on how to deal with those perpetually keeping us in this quagmire of not making palpable but only media progress.
June 12 is here, lets make objective use of it.
Dr. Bright Oniovokukor