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Tinubu: June 12 struggle similar to battle for independence | We must jealously protect democracy

Tinubu: June 12 struggle similar to battle for independence | We must jealously protect democracy
June 12
08:16 2023

President Bola Tinubu says opposition to the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election was “equivalent” to the battle against colonial rule.

In his Democracy Day speech on Monday, Tinubu said Nigerians must “forever jealously guard” democracy like a “precious jewel”.

“The fierce opposition to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and the unrelenting pro-democracy onslaught it unleashed, was the equivalent of the battle against colonial rule by our founding fathers that resulted in the gaining of Nigeria’s independence in 1960,” Tinubu said.

“The point is that we must never take this democracy for granted.

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“We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel.

“A people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it.”

Speaking on the 2023 election, the president said the competitiveness of the election shows that democracy is “well and alive” in Nigeria.

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Tinubu said those who cannot accept the pain of defeat do not deserve the “joy of victory” when it is their turn to triumph.

“This year, we held the seventh in the cycle of elections that have become sacred rituals of our democratic practice in this dispensation since 1999,” the president added.

“That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land.

“It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed.

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“But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.

“Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph.

“Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man.”

 

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