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  Democracy Day, June 12, this year is with a little difference. A lot of Nigerians are rather angry and have preferred not to join in the celebrations the government may have highlighted to pat themselves on the back.
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Instead, protest locations both within and outside Nigeria are being prepped for a #June12Protest. Major cities such as Lagos, Ibadan, Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba and so on have been lined up as protest locations. And as usual, the federal government is making the mistake of spurring the anti-masses rhetoric threatening the unity of the nation, the security and welfare of its people. Police and the military are already being mobilised to seal up protest locations across the country. One of the most notorious tools known to suppressive regimes – a show of force – is being deployed for the umpteenth time to counter all the gains of democracy itself – on a day commemorating and symbolising democracy. This is why a majority of Nigerians have chosen to celebrate Democracy Day, June 12, differently. To remind themselves and the rest of fellow citizens that they are not beholden to an administration intending to enslave or recolonise them. Some have chosen this Democracy Day to show defiance to a tone-deaf administration while others are simply remembering the injustice that was done with the annulment of the June 12 1993 Presidential Elections which were won by MKO Abiola. Scenes and the solidarity shown during the #EndSARS Protests are now being anticipated on a day that the government should have smartly won for its own popularity and betterment of the people.
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Democracy Day, June 12, has, therefore, evolved into a day of celebrating freedom – a most priced possession of human beings. It has become a day of sober reflection in the ideals that helped form an amended Nigeria in 1960, as envisioned by the founders. It would be without context to ignore the history of the June 12 protests. Since 1993, it has always been a symbolic day for some Nigerians to take to the streets to remind any administration or regime in power that power still belongs to the people in any sovereign setup. Even before June 12 was reassigned as Democracy Day, it has always been a day that many Nigerians who remember history have claimed as their own day – as against the other 364 days the Nigerian government works against the citizens. June 12, Democracy Day, is also a day of memory. And Nigerians must always be reminded to not be deceived into falling for the traps of misgovernance being devised by political jobbers day in day out. Therefore, what Nigerians must do on Democracy Day (and even on other days) is to not forget. Nigerians must not forget all it took to get to this point of nascent democracy and to always be reminded to preserve that legacy for other generations to come. The arduous task of nation-building in Nigeria may just have taken too long, but the additional lesson in there is that all citizens must believe that the work required To Build A Nation Where Peace and Justice Shall Reign is a journey, and not necessarily a destination. Featured Image Source: This Nigeria 
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This article was first published on 12th June 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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