By Solomon Odeniyi
A coalition of human rights and pressure groups in Osun state, the Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) on Friday said the recognition of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day has strengthened genuine agitation for improved democratic processes in the country.
The OCSC applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day to honor the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1999 presidential election, Late Moshood Abiola, just as it called for more processes that would guarantee free, fair and credible elections.
The group stated this on Friday in a press conference in Osogbo as part of the programmes for the Democracy Day celebration in conjunction with the state government.
Addressing the press, leaders of various pressure groups, Comrade Waheed Lawal, Amitolu Shittu and Wale Olabisi, said the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day has further strengthened democracy in the country, adding that it would also engender the development as democracy is seen as the bedrock of any development.
They praised former governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration for supporting the June 12 struggles and being the first to recognize the day with holiday.
“When the progressive government took reign of government in the state of Osun, Ogbeni Aregbesola gave the official recognition to June 12 and he supported it with a public holiday, making Osun as the only state in Nigeria that steadfast celebrates June 12.
“Another lesson is that democracy is the bedrock of development of any society in the world. We have recorded this in our dear State of Osun from 1993-2020, from Chief Bisi Akande to the current Governor Adgboyega Oyetola administration of democracy from 2018 till date.
“In addition Osun is leading in agriculture and its employment ration is still one of the best in the country. And peace and security, the state can beat its chest as the safest in Nigeria”, they said.
To ensure that this tempo of development is kept, sustained and maintained, the civil societies leaders said all hands must be on deck to give all the necessary support for the government of the day in state to succeed.