The rains poured in Abuja on June 12, 2021. It brought back memories of June 12, 1993.
Saturday, June 12, 1993, was a day that was highly anticipated by millions of Nigerians. The night before, my dad and some of his friends had kept some form of vigil.
Far into the night, they discussed Nigeria politics, and what the future held for our nation under the incoming Messiah, Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Luckily, I was allowed to eavesdrop on their conversation. Looking back now, I think it was deliberate because at that time, my interest in Nigeria politics had already been stirred. This is all thanks to the numerous articles that I read off the pages of TELL Magazine and Newswatch among others.
By default, everyone on the street could sing the SDP campaign song. The lyrics resonated. Each verse was a representation of all we were passing through, and a promise of a bright future that was to come. The campaign slogan was ‘Hope 93,’ and Nigerians were indeed hopeful.
Looking back now, I think the election was a mere formality as both living and non-living things could attest to the fact that victory was certain for Chief MKO Abiola, as his contender, Alhaji Bashir Tofa was no match for him.
By 3:00pm, the clouds had gathered, and in no time, the rains had started to pour.
I still remember how my dad returned home in the rain, drenched. I still remember the excitement on his face, Abiola had won at his polling unit.
Without waiting for the official announcement, Nigerians celebrated, but this joy was short-lived after the ‘freest and fairest’ election in the history of our nation was annulled. The rest is history, history that has never been taught in our classrooms, that which the younger generation knows little or nothing about.
On June 12, 2021 the rains poured in Abuja, it brought back memories of June 12, 1993, that which I am coincidentally sharing with my dad who is on a visit. A historian and political analyst, both of us have been discussing Nigeria politics while x-raying the nation’s challenges from a historical perspective.
On June 12, 2021, the rains poured in Abuja, but unlike June 12, 1993, the mood of the nation is pensive, Nigerians are not smiling.
Would we ever get it right as a nation? Would the Messiah ever come? While we hope for redemption, we will continue to keep our hopes alive.
Happy Democracy Day in arrears, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
Written by John Olugbemi.®