June is an important date for many Nigerians. It is not the month of her independence (I doubt if October, the month of independence, would spring memories to mind as June does). It is a month of Nigeria's plethoric political tragedy that got the blame of many years of her socio-political failings. I will like to say, that perhaps, every Nigerian family has a June story.
June 12, 1993 – The date of the later annulled election between Abiola and Tofa (Supposedly, the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria).
June 23, 1993 – Election was annulled on this date
June 11, 1994 – On this date MKO Abiola, declared himself, an action that will lead him to prison.
June 23, 1994 – MKO Abiola was arrested and detained
June 4, 1996 – Kudirat Abiola (MKO’s wife) was assassinated on this date.
June 8, 1998 – General Sani Abacha died
Interestingly, June 13 is the date, General Abdusalam Abubakar, the man who would come – or was it used – to ‘douse’ the fire was born.
I June, the events happened during my time and because I wish to know – so I read, I learn, I listen. How much of it is being taught in our schools? How many students know the significance of this date? I fear that soon it may be forgotten. The troubles of most students – primary, secondary and tertiary’ are coupled as existence and teacher’s strike. I am not sure they’ll care.
So whenever anyone talks about June 12 and its significance these days, you’re told in a hurried voice to “move on, what is past is past.” – How sad.
Anything that a people with their lives for – to keep a country, must never be forgotten. But why do I keep forgetting…my country does not remember.
Here's Sylvia Ifedigbo in anticipation of June 12 - the date that rings most of all the June dates. Read More