[Breaking] June 12: I feel your pains, sacrifice a little more, Tinubu tells Nigerians on Democracy Day

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to make a little more sacrifice for the survival of the country in the face of the current hardship being experienced as a result of fuel subsidy removal.

In a nationwide broadcast Monday  to mark the 30th anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential elections won by the late Chief Moshood K. Abiola, the President said the sacrifices of Nigerians won’t  be in vain.

He said the federal government would repay the sacrifices of Nigerians through massive investment in transportation, infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that would improve the quality of lives.

“In my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich. I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.

“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation, infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.

“The democracy MKO Abiola died for is one that promotes the welfare of the people over personal interests of the ruling class and one where the governed can find personal fulfillment and happiness. That is the hope MKO Abiola ignited throughout our country in 1993,”he said.

The President called on Nigerians to rededicate themselves to strengthening the government of free peoples that has been the guiding light the past 24 years.

“In particular, those of us who have been privileged to be elected into public offices at various levels in both the executive and legislative arms of government must recommit ourselves to offering selfless service to the people, and delivering concrete democracy dividends in accordance with our electoral promises,” he said.

The President also spoke on the 2023 general elections, stressing that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today would have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.

“This year, we held the seventh in the cycle of elections that have become sacred rituals of our democratic practice in this dispensation since 1999.

“That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land. It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed.

“But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.

“Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph. Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man,” he said.

The President said Nigerians should not take the country’s democracy for granted.

“We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel. For, a people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it.

“We have traversed the dark, thorny path of dictatorship before and those who experienced it can readily testify to the unbridgeable gap between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation and degradation of tyranny. True, rancorous debates, interminable wrangling, ceaseless quarrels, bitter electoral contestations may be perceived by some as unattractive features of democracy. But they also testify to its merit and value,” he said.