I was privileged to be part of Nigeria’s pro-democracy movement, my sacrifice was nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice of the following comrades. Many comrades will never speak about the role they play in Nigeria’s pro-democracy movement, not because they are not proud of the patriotic sacrifice, but because they know now is not the time for high fives, this is not the country we dreamt and fought for, we are yet to find the Nigeria of our dream.
However, we can acknowledge the following comrades and more I may miss, who have left our world and gone to rest.
1. James Bagauda Kaltho: Gruesomely murdered by the junta.
2. Chris Abachi: Committed Comrade who gave his all.
3. Basil Chianson
4. Dominic Ogampa
5. Olaitan Oyerinde
6. Bamidele Aturu
7. Chima Ubani
8. Dr. Shola Omoshola, the then Chief Security Officer of the Airport blown up by Abacha goons through a bomb package at the Murtala Muhammed Airport link road in Ikeja for refusing to target NADECO activists.
9. Comrade Abdulrasheed Wale Salami a.k.a. The Don
10 Thousands of Nigerians who chose to be the foot soldiers, those who willingly took on extremely dangerous tasks, whose names you will never find in any Nigerian newspaper, who till today chose not to ever speak about the role they played as they know, it is not yet Uhuru.
11. Hundreds of Nigerians killed protesting, whom till today do not have a cenotaph in their name, buried across our beloved country in unmarked graves.
12. Millions of families who gave all but never benefited from the struggle.
13. Unknown heroes and heroines.
Without all of the above soldiers and many more, you can never have ‘generals’ such as MKO Abiola, Femi Falana, Gani Fahweninmi, Wole Soyinka, Beko Kuti, NADECO, NALICON and all others who became the face of the movement.
I am hopeful that those who did the dirty work, those who made it possible for the military to catch cold when the people sneeze by carrying out legitimate resistance on behalf of the Nigerian people are never forgotten. The MAD 4 Richard Ogunderu and his comrades who are sadly destitute today.
The cadres who met every military attack with willpower and gave teeth to every threat of resistance by the known symbols of June 12, forcing the military to realise that the time was up.
The members of various self-determination groups who sacrifice much more in sustaining the momentum lost several cadres and foot soldiers.
I am hopeful that someday as a country, as we honour the known names of our match towards a better Nigeria, we set a befitting monument aside for the heroes and heroines.
May we never see the dark days of the rule of the gun, may the rule of the box get better as we learn from the missteps of our yesterday.
May our history never be rewritten to serve the interest of the usurpers who replaced yesterdays oppressors.
Have a blessed June 12 Democracy Day
Kayode Ogundamisi is the host of PolitrickswithKO and a commentator on Nigeria and international politics