A university don and legal practitioner, Edwin Jonathan has called on political leaders in the country to build on the lessons of the June 12,1993 general elections.
Barr. Jonathan who teaches law at the Rivers State University (RSU) stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital ahead of Nigeria’s new democracy day now slated for June 12 yearly.
He expressed regrets that the country has not benefitted from the June 12 poll because she was yet to come to terms with the lessons needed to have been learned therefrom; but noted that it was laudable for an incumbent President to have realised that the date is of great importance.
According to him, We have not benefitted in any way from June 12. We have thrown away all the lessons we needed to learn from June 12. Whether we have gotten anything from the deliverables is no.
“However, I am glad that at least we have been able to take the first step which is recognizsing that June 12 really matters to Nigerians. The next thing is built on it. How? Those who are already in governance should realise the legacy that Chief Moshood Abiola left. Abiola left the legacy of unity of one nation
“Though it was Lord Fedrick Lugard that put us together. Now that we are together, let us stay together as a nation irrespective of our background,” the university teacher said.
Jonathan expressed the need for the country to reflect on what Abiola lived and died for, describing him as a detribalised Nigerian and phenomenon whose huge acceptance across the nation shows that a free, fair and credible poll is possible.
“We must look at what Abiola lived for and died for. He lived for one Nigeria. Secondly Abiola is a phenomenon to the fact we can have a free, fair, violent free and credible elections. Nobody died during the ‘Abiola election’. At least not to my knowledge. The North, the West, the South East and the South-South all voted for Abiola. Nobody died. Which means that phenomenon called free, fair and credible election is possible.
“The third point here is that it is possible to have a detribalised Nigerian in a fully tribalised nation where everybody talks about where he comes from, what type of God he worships and that determines his political philosophy. “And that determines his political followership. Politics must be taken away from religion,” he stated.
While commenting on the issue of derivation and resource control and all of that he said the solution to even the issue of resource control and resource agitation is proper resource governance, saying: “If the resources are being properly governed you will not care who governed it. If what is important to you gets to you, if what you deserve gets to you, will you worry whether it is a Yoruba man or Hausa man or a Niger Delta man that govern the resources?
“You will not bother! The reason we bother is when somebody gets there he governed it according to his family lineage and the rest of the nation go begging. The only time we are really united is when Nigeria, Super Eagles plays a foreign nation. Beyond football when the games are over we get back to our cocoons. But Abiola set it aside. He (Abiola) did not take advantage of it,” he said.