Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, yesterday, canvassed eternal vigilance over the current democratic process as a means of imbibing the lessons of June 12.
He said Nigerians must uphold the sanctity of the vote and free choice to elect leaders as non-negotiable instruments for the sustenance of democracy.
In his Democracy Day message to the people of the state, Uzodimma insisted that it was imperative for citizens to participate in the democratic process to ensure that the struggle of June 12 is not in vain.
According to him: “With the benefit of hindsight, it is imperative for us to guard this democracy jealously but do all within our power to ensure that we don’t toil with this freedom of choice, which is the foundation upon which our development is predicated.
This freedom should never be tied to pecuniary gains.”
He said the steps to be taken towards sustaining democracy are the acquisition of permanent voter cards, while the next is participating in voting process.
The governor noted: “June 12 has taught us the lesson that we have the power to freely elect our leaders. If we fail in discharging that sacred responsibility, we should blame ourselves for the consequences.”
Uzodinma commended President Muhammadu Buhari for institutionalising June 12 as democracy day, saying it is apt to remind the younger ones of the sacrifices of our elders.
He paid tribute to Chief M.K. O Abiola whom he described as the martyr of June 12 and other Patriots, including Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and Chief Ralph Obioha, who gave their all in the June 12 struggle.
The governor remembered and hailed Imo sons and daughters who died during the turbulent period and those who never recovered from the economic trauma of relocation.
UZODIMMA, congratulated Nigerians for keeping faith with June 12, noting that the day resonates the collective struggle and resilience of the people to enthrone and sustain democracy.
He said: “One of the major takeaways of June 12 is that the people’s will in a democracy is supreme and cannot be underestimated.”
That Nigeria has experienced 23 years of uninterrupted civil rule speaks about the collective desire of the people to sustain democracy, he added.
Uzodimma congratulated the citizens for the sacrifices they made to enthrone democracy.
However, he challenged Nigerians to search their consciences whether, by their behaviour, they had truly internalised the spirit of June 12.
Uzodimma reiterated his resolve to sincerely serve the people of Imo by providing services that would enhance their wellbeing, using his 3Rs mantra of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery.