By JOSHUA DADA
As Osun people joined Nigerians to celebrate June 12 Democracy Day in Osogbo on Wednesday, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has admonished Nigerians to embrace those things that unite us as a nation.
Speaking through his deputy, Benedict Alabi during the celebration of May Day in conjunction with the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, Oyetola said President Muhammadu Buhari has set a new agenda for socio-economic transformation of the country.
The celebration commenced with a procession march that took off from Ayetoro Junction and traversed major streets. It terminated at the Aurora Event Centre where the lecture of the day was held.
The lecture titled: The State of Insecurity in Nigeria and Challenges of National Questions – The way forward, was delivered by Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade, and a United Kingdom-based lawyer, Mrs Olutoyin Eweje, before a large crowd of activists, students, pro-democracy activists and political groups.
Others are traditional rulers, members of the National Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW), artisans, students and market women.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles Diji Akinola, Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr. Femi Popoola and Deputy Majority Leader Maroof Olanrewaju, who represented Speaker Timothy Owoeye, among others, were present.
Governor Oyetola said: “Our President has done us proud. He has set a new agenda for socio-economic transformation of the country
“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.
“As a state government, we are doing everything possible to nip in the bud any form of criminality in the state.
“We are working round the clock to improve on the security architecture so as to make our security agencies more efficient and productive”, he said.
Delivering the lecture, Dr. Olowogboyega said: “For us to put many of our challenges behind us, we have to fight poverty, corruption among others.
“There must be a scientific war against crime. 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.
“We must do much to enhance our capacity in mining, vocational and technical education and lot more”, he said.
Mrs Eweje urged the Nigerian government to turn a new leaf at addressing myriads of challenges facing the country.
She described as worrisome the cases of insecurity confronting the country, saying the time had come for the government to battle the menace.
Mrs Eweje identified unemployment, poverty and unequal distribution of Commonwealth as major causes of the nation’s security crisis.
An activist, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, described the President’s decision on June 12 as unprecedented, memorable and significant in the history of Nigeria, saying the administration had set a good precedent and written its existence on the sand of time.
“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”.
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