Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has called on Nigerians to speak against financial recklessness and corruption in high places.
In a statement to mark the 23rd anniversary of June 12 election, Tinubu said the country’s democracy was sown during the June 12 struggle.
He also appealed to Nigerians not to forget patriots “who lost lives and limbs in that epochal struggle”, saying Moshood Abiola, acclaimed winner of the election, remains “the spirit and the moving force of the fruit we now enjoy”.
“Nigerians must exact from its leaders performance and accountability. Just like in the moving spirit of June 12, Nigerians must speak up against any form financial recklessness and corruption in high places, in their States or local administration and wherever this is found,” Tinubu said in a statement.
“Beyond speaking against and exposing corruption, Nigerians must speak for and in support of the on-going concerted efforts being coordinated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The lessons of the June 12 struggle abides. To June 12 we must return to rekindle our love and devotion for democracy and Nigeria.”
Tinubu recalled the days of the campaign for the end of military rule, and praised those who displayed courage in that era.
“On this occasion, I shout out to all my colleagues from the days of the June 12 struggle encompassing the NADECO foot soldiers still alive today, the pro-democracy activists, the civil society and the professionals who stood up to be soldiers in defense of the democratic rights of Nigerians,” he said.
“Because a few courageous ones across the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society formed a coalition and lead from the front, the military was unable to get away with its constitutional impunity.
“Fired on by patriotism, resistant of years of oppressive military dictatorship and willing to do something about the situation Nigerians pushed the limits of civil disobedience against tyranny. By so doing, Nigerians pushed the military out, demanding for democratic governance and since then, there has been no looking back.
“However, 16 years after that struggle ended and the military departed, a new kind of struggle began. With a government of the people, by the people and for the people, the desire for rapid development and a disciplined and accountable leadership became an agenda item.”
Tinubu advised Nigerians to “sustain the fervour and the patriotic disposition” necessary for a new political culture to take root.
He said Nigerians “got a raw deal” during the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), arguing that because of their desire for change, Nigerians were again galvanized into voting the PDP out and voting in the All Progressives Congress (APC) with its message and philosophy of change.
“But beyond the historic mandate given to the All Progressives Congress, APC is the urgent need to have every citizen be part of the change we want to see,” he said.
“From the streets and crannies, from the classrooms and boardrooms, from the lecture halls and the corridor of power, from the lawmakers, ministers and leading politicians this is a season that demands our contribution, requires we make sacrifice and seeks that we work together towards building a critical mass that will see to the processes of the change vision now unfolding.
“We know that no change comes easy and we must be mindful of the fact that the success of the APC led government is the success of all of us.”