JUNE 12 REMINDS US THAT WE MUST CONTINUALLY DEFEND DEMOCRACY
— DR MICHAEL NWOKO
By Frank Iroroh
The Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Health Monitoring and member of the State Covid-19 Enforcement Committee, Dr Michael Nwoko has stated that the annual celebration of June 12 as a democracy day is very relevant as it reminds Nigerians of the sacrifices made to secure the current democratic dispensation and enjoy politicians, the electoral umpire and the citizens to work to defend democracy to ensure that the sacrifices made to actualised June 12 will never be in vain saying that democracy day should be a constant reminder of the journey the country has gone through to get to where we are today and to remind us that we cannot go black to Egypt again.’
Dr. Nwoko described June 12 election as the freest, fairest and the most transparent election in Nigeria and enjoined political parties to imbibe the principle of internal democracy as a way to strenghten democracy in the country. He reminded Nigerians that history is a best teacher and that those who failed to learn from history are bound to repeat same mistake.
The SSA hailed Governor Okowa high as an all round development genius, saying that 5 years of the Governor as the pilot of the State affairs, have witnessed tremendous development in every sector of the economy of the State.
Dr Nwoko stated this when he features as a guest in a dual democracy day program anchored by Delta Broadcasting Service, Television’s (DBS), and Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Asaba stations, live programs aired on Friday June 12.
At DBSTV, Morning Ride Program, Dr Nwoko said, ‘I want to enjoined Deltans to embrace democracy as we mark June 12. June 12, which is now referred to as the democracy day, carries huge significance because it was on this date in 1993, that the presidential election was held to usher in Nigerian 3rd republic after the 1983 military coup ended the Shehu Shagari’s led 2nd republic.’
‘June 12, 1993 is still viewed as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election ever held in Nigeria, as Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious, class and regional affiliations defied the bad weather to elect their president. The annulment of June 12 election marked the beginning of a decade of long struggle which plunged the country into what indisputably is the greatest political crisis.’
‘It is imperative for politicians, the electoral umpire and Nigerians to ensure that the current democracy is safeguarded by adopting the critical elements that made the June 12 elections to be adjudged the freest and fairest elections in the history of Nigerian democracy.
We must acknowledge the sacrifices made by MKO Abiola, pro democracy individuals in defense of Nigerian democracy. The is why the celebration of this date as democracy day is very relevant. It will continue to remind us of the journey we went through to get to this point and to remind us to defend democracy so we would not got back to the trenches.’
Deltans and indeed all residents of Delta State are enjoying exceptional dividends of democracy since the inauguration of His Excellency Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, as Governor of 5 years ago.
The State has witnessed tremendous development as never seen before. The Governor’s marvelous performance is a good testimony of democratic dividend and a good reason to celebrate this day.’ Dr Nwoko emphasized.
At NTA’s democracy day program, Dr. Nwoko emphasized the need for political parties to embrace the principle of internal democracy to strengthen democracy in the country.
As he put it, ‘I want to advised that we embrace and imbibe the principle of of internal democracy as a way to defend and strengthen the country’s democracy and encourage the electoral umpire to be unbiased in the conduct of elections.
If we allow people to chose candidates of their choice and the election is conducted under a free and fair atmosphere, I believe everyone will accept the outcome of the election.
This was what happened during the June 12 election, that was why Nigerians were traumatized when the election was annulled.’ Dr Nwoko stated.
Continuing he said, ‘Deltans are enjoying the dividends of democracy especially since the inception of His Excellency, Sen Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa as the Governor of the State.
I can tell you that, the health sector, which I am privilege to be an SSA, health monitoring, have witnessed revolutionary transformation, making the State to attain the point of achieving the universal health coverage policy of accessible, quality and affordable health care delivery service to the people.
Delta State is number one in the country in all health care indexes. This is not surprising going by the antecedents of His Excellency, the Governor. As a Senator of the Federal Republic, he sponsored a bill for the National Health Insurance Commission, a bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, a bill for the basic health care provision fund among others.
As Governor, he wasted no time in domesticating the health insurance program in the State.
As you are aware, health insurance is the most effective way to achieving the universal health coverage policy, globally.
So far over 700, 000 residents of the State have been enrolled in the scheme and the number is counting, our target is to enrolle about 3million residents.
Therefore, there is a reason for Deltans to celebrate democracy day, June 12, which marked a watershed in the history of our march to nationhood. Dr Nwoko concluded.