June 12, 1993, the day Nigeria had its best election ever, has remained a significant day in the history of the country.
The ruling military government for ignoble reasons, annulled the presidential election known to have been won by Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, an action which brought a huge setback to a country which had been under the jackboot of the soldiers since the Shehu Shagari government was sacked in 1983.
But the date rightly though belatedly was declared Democracy Day in 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to remain a reference point in Nigeria and will remain so.
Some Nigerians shared with AN24 Editor, Paul Dada, their experiences on June 12, 1993 and the upheavals that followed on account of the struggles to return Nigeria to the path of democracy.
A Peaceful And Orderly Election — Rotimi Adedayo
“It was the first election I queued to vote; very peaceful and orderly. The results were already known anyway, but waiting for official declaration, then the unthinkable happened on June 23, when the results were annulled via an unsigned statement by who-knows-what from the State House. Na so the trouble take start o!
All hell broke loose, and drama upon drama began; Interim National Government headed by Earnest Shonekan lasted barely six months before Gen. Sani Abacha shoved Shonekan aside to become the Head of State. The tempo of wahala then increased as Abacha brooked no nonsense. Many pro- democracy activists and politicians won’t forget the dark-goggled General: Gani Fawehinmi, Beko Ramsome Kuti, Femi Falana, Olu Falae, Bola Ige, Olusegun Obasanjo, Arthur Nwankwo, and several others were incarcerated, and the June 12 struggle began.
Many Corps Members Had Fatal Accidents — Shalom Olushola Goriola
I was in Katsina state doing my NYSC. Many corpers travelled back to the south thinking that the northerners would start killing the southerners. That was far from it. I stayed on amongst the Hausa people who continued to be nice to me.
Those that went down south regretted going as it cost them a lot. Sadly some died in accidents during the travel.
I Remember MKO Political Jingle–Herrieter Benedict
I remember the MKO political jingle that year; “Nigeria on the march again, on the march again. Looking for Mr President, On the march again MKO is our man o.
I was in secondary School that year.
We were Sent Home From School –Isoken Odigie Ruth
In fact I was in the primary school then. I still remember we were asked to go home because of the peaceful demonstration. We took a long walk to the great University of Benin. In fact when we got there, I begged my sister so we could go home. It wasn’t funny.
I Joined The Protesters -Olaide Dile
I remember very well. We were on the school assembly ground. That seemed to be the first time I heard ’till further notice.’ We were asked to go home. On my way home, I saw a group of protesters, and I joined them. We went round the Osogbo . I realised in the evening that I was alone in far away Oke Baale and I lived at Ogo-Oluwa. I got home late in the night and gave mum cock and bull story.
Guess what, I was in the news at night. She saw me among the protesters. I can never
forget that night’s experience.
Igbo Families Fled Home –Mercy Oluchi Eleonu
” I was in Jss 3 preparing for JSCE. All the three Igbo families in my compound went home with their children except the fathers and their first sons. I was the child left behind in my family because of the exams I had.
My Parents Had A Narrow Escape From Death –Victoria Onwuzuruike
Oh yes I remember. I was in primary school then. My dad loved listening to news and politics and would analyse the situation to my hearing. That particular day, my parents traveled to Ogun state when the riot broke out somewhere close to the toll gate. Both of them narrowly escaped death. Nigerians have really gone
through a lot .
I Walked From Ojota To Oshodi- Adebukola Alabi
I remember one day that I had to travel from my school in Akure. I got to Lagos and there was no bus. I had to walk from Ojota to Oshodi.