• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Free, fair elections, potent path to immortalize MKO Abiola, other heroes of democracy- Gov. Adeleke

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Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has emphasised the significance of free and fair elections in honouring the memory of late Bashorun MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, Presidential election, and other democratic heroes.

Adeleke, in a statement to commemorate Democracy Day, signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, described free and fair elections as the lifeline of any virile democracy.

The Governor who acknowledged the sacrifices and struggles that paved the way for the civil rule that we currently enjoy, called on politicians in the country to submit themselves to upholding the tenets of democracy by respecting the will of the people.

He said that the political class must recommit to strengthening the country’s electoral system to deliver credible elections and ensure that the will of the people is not subverted.

Calling election rigging an act of war, Adeleke said “Our best homage to our democratic heroes is our continued upholding the basic tenets of democracy. Such include free and fair elections and observance of the rule of law.

“We cannot on one hand celebrate democracy day and on the other hand undermine the democratic machine. You cannot be applauding the great memories of the late Bashorun Abiola and at the same time be working against free and fair elections.

“I call on leaders locally and nationally to re-dedicate ourselves to democratic ideals. The will of the people freely expressed must be accepted by genuine democrats. Our electoral system must be strengthened to deliver credible elections. Under no circumstances should the will of the people be subverted.

“Free and fair elections are the lifeline of any virile democracy. Politicians must grow to know and accept that power flows from the people. Rigging elections is an act of war against democracy. Genuine democrats accept electoral verdicts as a mark of respect for the voters, the ultimate holders of sovereignty. That’s what I did in 2018 when I was denied victory.

“If there is any lesson June 12 every year is to teach us, it is that democracy thrives when electoral candidates bow to people’s will. We must stop being autocratic in democratic garb.

“If you are rejected at an election, take it in good faith and prepare for the next round of election. After all, Abraham Lincoln failed several polls before his eventual emergence as American president”, the Governor concluded.