The government and people of Osun State have tasked Federal Government to do more on security in honour of June 12 election and in commemoration of the winner of the poll, Chief MKO Abiola.
They made the call at the rally and lectures to mark the June 12 Democracy Day in Osogbo, the state capital.
The event was organised by the government in conjunction with the Coalition of Civil Society Groups and pro-democracy activists.
The lecture titled: The State of Insecurity in Nigeria and Challenges of National Questions – The Way Forward was delivered by the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade, and a United Kingdom-based lawyer, Mrs Olutoyin Eweje.
Oyebade said Nigeria must first fight poverty and corruption to enjoy security of lives and properties.
“There must be a scientific war against crimes.
“We must develop modern way of fighting insecurity in the country.
“We need attitudinal change to the way we do things as a nation and as Nigerians.
”We need to go back to drawing board.
“It is time to adopt 1962 Constitution that gives room for true federalism and referendum in democratic setting.
“We need a drastic change on the school curriculum, we need to go back to farm to enhance our production capacity as to the need for us to produce what we will eat locally and much for exportation,” Oyebade said.
On her part, Eweje urged the Nigerian government to turn a new leaf in addressing myriads of challenges facing the country.
She described as worrisome the cases of insecurity, saying the time has come for the government to battle the menace.
Eweje identified unemployment, poverty and unequal distribution of Commonwealth as major causes of the nation’s security crisis.
In a message, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola acknowledged that President Muhammadu Buhari has done pro-democracy activists proud and has set a new agenda for socio-economic transformation of Nigeria.
“The declaration of June 12 is an affirmation of the fact that the present administration believes so much in things that can promote unity and peace.
“This is a period of sober reflection on the selfless service and sacrifice made by our heroes to ensure that we remain united and indivisible as a nation.
“As we are celebrating the maiden Democracy Day, we must do everything possible to strengthen the peaceful coexistence and unity of the Nigerian nation,” the governor said.
Oyetola pledged the state readiness to do everything possible to nip in the bud, any form of criminality in the state, saying the government was working round the clock to improve on the security architecture to make security agencies more efficient and productive”, he said.
An activist, Mr Amitolu Shittu, described the President’s decision on June 12 as unprecedented, memorable and significant in the history of Nigeria.
“We thank President Buhari for stepping on toes and for the courage to declare today as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
”Without June 12, there can’t be what we are celebrating today as democracy, and June 12 symbolises genuine Democracy Day in Nigeria.
“We are grateful today that late Chief MKO Abiola did not die in vain. In the recognition of this, we appeal to Mr President to declare MKO Abiola as a former president and accord him the status, recognition and entitlements deserved,” Shittu said.
Declare Abiola winner
The State Coordinator, Justice Now Foundation, Mr Waheed Lawal, hailed President Buhari for declaring June 12 a national holiday but said the president should declare Abiola and Kingibe as ex-president and former vice-president respectively.
He said the government should also approve the entitlements due them as former president and vice-president, respectively.
“This is a very momentous day that we can never be quick to forget, because of its democratic significance as a day Nigerians defied every divisive tendencies to elect Bashorun MKO Abiola as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a mass accepted, free, fair and transparent Presidential election on June 12,1993.
“We equally wish to appreciate President Muhamadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for acceding to the echoes from the streets with this long awaited recognition and honour to Bashorun MKO Abiola. History will record this patriotic and heroic move in your favour.
“It is, however, important to state that it is not yet Uhuru.
”As a Nation, we must take a step further by officially declaring the result of the election while former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida and other dramatis personae are still living to properly situate the history and complete the records for this present generation of Nigerians and that of the future,” Lawal said.
In a joint message, the Director, OlaOni Center and Mr Senge Rahman of Osun Development Agenda said June 12 remains the genuine democracy Nigerians are enjoying
“We align ourselves with agitation of workers for a living wage by calling the government to begin proper implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across sectors and sections of government.
”We will be doing ourselves great favour as a nation by improving workers welfare and alleviate poverty to a certain degree with this.
“However, we call for creation of more jobs not retrenchment or disengagement.
“We implore the government to resolve all security challenges bedeviling the nation before the people take their security as a matter of private concern resulting in self help.
“This situation is becoming alarming and must be addressed holistically and comprehensively.
“We must also as a people and nation give maximum support to efforts of the government to curb this ugly development”, they said.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo