June 12: Nothing to celebrate about this year’s Democracy Day — CUPP

Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has described this year’s Democracy Day as another of its kind “without anything to really celebrate about,” saying that the hope it represents is largely absent due to the fact as of today.

According to the CUPP, “the productive and positive dividends of democracy are far remote from the mass of Nigerians.”

CUPP, while noting that it was commendable that the June 12 date, which is in celebration of the election won in 1993 by late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, but was annulled by the military junta led by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, had been inducted into the nation’s democratic Hall of Fame as Democracy Day, pointedly declared that democracy is useless unless it delivers to the people what makes them fulfilled as citizens of a country that they called theirs. 

Spokesperson of the coalition, Comrade Mark Adebayo, said this in a signed statement titled: “June 12: From Hope Renewed To Hopeless Nightmare!” issued to mark this year’s occasion, copy of which was made available to newsmen, observing sadly that the promised and expected hope for the country “has become a forlorn one because those in the position of power at the center are disconnected from the plights of the citizens who voted them into power.”

According to CUPP, as Nigerians mark another Democracy Day today, most of them have been deprived of their capacity to feed themselves and their families, and unable to send their children to school, while shelter has become mostly unaffordable, with formal and informal sector businesses collapsing, noting sadly that the Naira was currently at the mercy of other currencies, even in Africa, including Benin Republic, Ghana, South Africa, among others, and not just the United States (US) dollar.  

“It is another Democracy Day without anything to really celebrate about. June 12th is a historic date in the political calendar of Nigeria because of its iconic identity indicative of a momentum that shook Nigeria to its very foundations and will remain relevant to our democratic experience as a people and country for a very long time to come.

“In as much as it is commendable that this date has been inducted into our democratic Hall of Fame as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, the hope it represents is largely absent. Democracy is useless unless it delivers to the people what makes them fulfilled as citizens of a country that they call theirs. In Nigeria of today, the productive and positive dividends of democracy are far remote from the mass of Nigerians. 

“The promised and expected hope has become a forlorn one because those in the position of power at the center are disconnected from the plights of the citizens who voted them into power,” the coalition said.

“Today, our supposed Democracy Day, most Nigerians have been deprived of their capacity to feed themselves and their families, unable to send their children to school, shelter has become mostly unaffordable, formal and informal sector businesses are collapsing, the Naira is at the mercy of other currencies, even African currencies like those of Bénin Republic, Ghana, South Africa and co – not just the dollar.  

“Our inflation rate of 33.70% is making life unbearable for most Nigerians. Insecurity is burgeoning beyond control as criminals are having a field day and often go unchallenged. Poverty level in the country has quadrupled since the inception of the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu due, principally, to the wicked and wrong timing of the fuel subsidy removal,” it added. 

Speaking further, the coalition attributed the suffering and retrogression ravaging the land to what it termed: “the anti-people plus trial-and-error policies of the Tinubu administration,” saying that it was now obvious that the president, before contesting the seat in the last poll exercise, didn’t prepare to govern in any way beneficial to Nigerians or the country itself.

According to it, Tinubu as then-candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) “only prepared to win the election and, having won, he became clueless as to how to ease the suffering in the land before taking over from his also failed predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.

“Rather than relieve the socioeconomic pains of Nigerians, the Tinubu administration has increased same unbearably from his first minute in office,” the coalition said. 

CUPP, however, noted that the only hope that this Democracy Day signifies is the opportunity it provides Nigerians in less than three years to make another choice at the ballot for a president who would connect directly with their aspirations and have the blueprint to take the country up the ladder of socioeconomic and developmental heights like the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Turkey and Rwanda. 

It posited that Rwanda, having emerged from a deadly fratricidal war, had retraced its steps from projected demise towards development, peace, security and prosperity through deliberate leadership actions whilst Nigeria continues to stagnate and retrogress as a result of leadership mishap, suggesting that for Nigeria to reclaim its pride of place in the comity of Nations, “we need to recalibrate our leadership recruitment methodology with a view to electing the best leader with the capacity and revolutionary drive to attain the national redirection that we so eagerly crave.”

This was just as the coalition equally knocked the president over on the re-introduction of Nigeria’s old national anthem, querying what benefits would prioritizing such over revamping the economy and security insurance of the people bring about.

“Rather than find the pathway out of the socioeconomic conundrums that the Federal Government’s policies have pushed Nigeria into, we have a president who prioritizes return to Nigeria’s old national anthem over revamping the economy and security insurance of the people. 

“Will the national anthem put food on the table of hungry Nigerians, create job opportunities for our teeming youths, give the desperately needed security to our people, or avail the country the general developmental strides that it lacks?” the coalition queried.

“The answer is a resounding no! But as it is the character of Nigeria’s ruling cliques from independence till date, they always take us backwards,” it sadly said. 

“While we wish Nigerians a happy Democracy Day, we also commiserate with all of us for the atrocious environment being created by bad and incompetent leadership,” it concluded.

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Source:

Tribune Online