A House of Representatives member, Rep. Joseph Akinlaja (Ondo-PDP), says recognition of June 12 and acclaimed winner of the presidential election on the day, ended religious dichotomy in the country.
Akinlaja said that with the re-enactment of June 12, the election that Nigerians cared less about religion in choice of leaders, the spirit would make the people to consider only quality in choosing leaders in future elections.
He told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that Chief MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe that won the June 12 election were Muslims “yet Nigerians voted for them irrespective of their religious background’’.
According to him, Nigerians saw them as human beings who could help solve their problems and that voting for them without looking at their religious background would have solved Nigeria’s religious dichotomy.
“If the election had been allowed to stay, and if two Christians in future contest election, it would have been able to solve Nigerians religious dichotomy.
“The people did not mind, the people voted for human beings, people did not vote for religion or tribe,” the lawmaker said.
He expressed optimism that what the president did by re-enacting June 12 spirit would be a lesson for all as 2019 general elections drew near.
Akinlaja said that he was fulfilled with what Buhari had done with the June 12 issue, recalling that he worked closely with Chief Ovie Kokori, who spearheaded the struggle for the actualisation of that historic day.
“I worked with Chief Ovie Kokori, former General Secretary of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), who spearheaded the struggle for the actualisation of the result of the June 12 Presidential election.
“So, it is a dream-come-true even though posthumously; the truth surfaced after 25 years.
“I also commend the courage of Buhari who ensured the enactment of the truth irrespective of what people would say about him.
“This particular decision, he got right from my own point of view,” he said.
On lessons of the development, the legislator said that it would ensure the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections in the country According to him, June 12 was the day Nigerians rose as one to elect a leader freely and fairly.
He called for an end to crisis across the country and urged Nigerians to see themselves as one irrespective of tribe or religion.