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General News of Saturday, 12 June 2021

Source: ripplesnigeria.com

Nigeria yet to enjoy true democracy — Afe Babalola

Afe Babalola Afe Babalola

Renowned legal luminary, Afe Babalola has stated that the country is yet to entrench deep democratic ideals for the benefit of the citizenry.

According to him, it was difficult to say that the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by the Federal Government has so far yielded meaningful results.

Babalola made this call via his June 12 Anniversa­ry Message titled: “June 12, Whether Abiola Died In Vain Or Not: Time Will Tell.”

“Today, many years after that prophetic statement, Ni­geria is still on the search for true democracy, which began on June 12, 1993.

“Democracy thrives on three pillars, namely: Execu­tive, Legislative and Judiciary. For many months, Nigeria’s ju­diciary existed only in name. The courts were paralysed by a nationwide strike by JUSUN. For the first time, all the courts in the country were shut down.

“The complaint of the work­ers was that the judiciary lacks autonomy. This fundamental issue remains unaddressed even with the calling off of the industrial action by JUSUN.

“Up till now, the Legislative and the Executive Arms have not addressed the issue satisfacto­rily,” he said.

Baba­lola relived the roles he played and the unfortunate events that trailed the infamous an­nulment of the 1993 presidential election.

Afe Babalola further narrat­ed his struggles and Abiola’s last moment in an attempt to claim back the stolen mandate.

“In an attempt to validate his victory through the court, his battle suffered irreversible defeat at the Court of Appeal, Kaduna when Phillip Umea­di, SAN, tendered a one-sheet Gazette annulling the election and ousting the jurisdiction of the court.”

Babalola however said, “June 12 was of utmost sig­nificance in Nigerian history. It was the day MKO Abiola, a wealthy, popular philanthropist and Nigerians overwhelming­ly elected a politician.

National and international observers acclaimed the election as the freest and cleanest ever-con­ducted in Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, Abiola died in incarceration in question­able circumstances at a time he was still busy battling to reclaim his mandate. My col­leagues and I left the court un­happy and sad.”

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