President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, hailed the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola.
He described the late businessman who died in a dubious circumstances after his election was void by the late Gen Sani Abacha, as the symbol of democracy.
Tinubu, who understand the hardship being faced by Nigerians in the aftermath of the fuel subsidy removal, said his administration will “repay” their sacrifices with “massive investment” in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will bring good life.
The President who said he identified with the pain of Nigerians argued that the temporal soreness was necessary to save the country from going under.
“I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few disaffected elements,” Tinubu said in his maiden Democracy Day speech to Nigerians as President.
In his inaugural speech on May 29, the President stated that subsidy can no longer give reason for its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. Therefore, it had to let go.
The Naijaspects reported that the aftermath of Tinubu’s announcement was the inflation in petrol pump price from N195 to N537 nationwide, alongside an ancillary price increase.
Addressing the aftermath of the move, he said, “It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy load and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been steal by a few rich.
“I admit that the decision will inflict an extra burden on the masses of our people. Painfully, I have asked you, my fellow countrymen, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country.
“For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will reward you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.”
Speaking of the rule of law, the President said his administration will not allow conflicting and illegal orders that undermine Nigeria’s democracy.
He also described the bill he signed into law on June 8 for the harmonisation of the retirement age for judicial officers as one of many policy reforms to come.
“For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal.
“It is about the rule of law and competent judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate democracy will not be welcomed.
“The recent harmonisation of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started,” he said.
President Tinubu described the February and March elections as a true testament of Nigeria’s democratic journey, adding that the current legal contestation of the results are the “beauty of democracy”.