June 12 was formerly declared as Democracy Day in Nigeria in honour of Moshood Kolawole Abiola, MKO, the winner of June 12, 1992 presidential election by President Mohammed Buhari.
That election was annulled by the then military president, Gen Ibrahim Babangida. The annulment led to series of political agitations that eventually gave birth to the return of democratic governance in 1999.
Later, in Edo, one of the rain forest state in Nigeria, a political battle was launched on June 17, 2019 by a select group of anti-godfatherism volunteers. The battle was fought to ensure the independence of Edo State legislature.
Today, June 17, 2021 is exactly two years since the inauguration of the 7th Assembly which brought with it, various crises that threatened the peace and harmony of Edo State.
Before June 17, 2019, there was April 14, 2007. The day Edo people effectively demonstrated that power indeed belongs to the people.
On that historical day, the people of Edo State thronged out in huge numbers to resist the political class that held the state hostage at their detriment. They voted for Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole to become their governor.
However, the result did not reflect the proceedings and the will of Edo people. The perpetuated struggle and resistance that followed eventually sacked the makeshift government on November 11, 2008.
Ironically, Oshiomhole who was the benefactor of that progressive fight, would later become the albatross to politics in Edo State.
The story of his bitter and wasteful battle with his successor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki is well documented in the public space, including the impact it had on the Legislative arm of government in the state.
It is in this tendency, that June 17 should be promoted to occupy the consciousness of Nigerians, because it has signified the triumph of resistance to godfatherism and the rule of one man.
Effort must also be made to engrave the names of those that fought on the two divides on the milestones of history, to retrospectively remind us and hereafter that political power is not given but taken.
Any attempt to show nonchalant recognition to June 17, 2019 will amount to yet another aborted opportunity to ingrain the true values of political struggle in Edo State and indeed Nigeria!