The Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM), a coalition of 121 community human rights groups, is set to mark the 30 years anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election with awards for the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Uba Sani; Ekiti State Governor, Abiodun Oyebanji; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu and others.
In a statement, yesterday, its General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi, said the award is meant to appreciate the courage of the beneficiaries for the risk and contributions they made by confronting the military and enthroning democracy in Nigeria.
Among those listed for award at the anniversary, scheduled to hold on June 12, 2023, is Hassan Katsina, who was one of those who worked for the actualisation of the election.
Also for post-humous awards are Alfred Rewane, Anthony Enahoro, Abraham Adesanya, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Adekunle Ajasin and Chima Ubani, among others. The award also takes into consideration key political figures that stood out in consolidation of democracy.
The group, which noted that the 30th anniversary of the June 12 election coincided with the emergence of one of the arrowheads of the struggle, Tinubu, as the next President of Nigeria, said: “Since 1960, Nigeria has never produced a President from the rank and file of the radical pro-democracy movement until the February 2023 elections.
“Some people elected today were never part of the campaign for democracy. In fact, some of them opposed and worked against democracy.
“They were hand in glove with military dictatorship. We need to educate Nigerians on our history and the true heroes of democracy.
“Tinubu, Shehu Sani, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Femi Falana, Wole Soyinka and Chima Ubani all risked their lives for a democratic country. They put in everything, at the risk of their lives, to resist tyranny and injustice. They deserved to be celebrated.”
The group, which noted that it is the first time in Nigerian history that a member of the pro-democracy family was emerging as the President of Nigeria, said award would teach younger generation about the tough history of the country and those who stood firmly with the people at the most difficult times.
It said that the heroes were not just people from the South-West, but people from the North, including the Fulani and Hausa, also participated in the historic campaign for a better and equitable Nigeria based on liberty and respect for the sanctity of votes.