Chief Sunny Onuesoke is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State. In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, the public affairs analyst and former governorship aspirant speaks on the significance of June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day. Excerpts:
What do you make of President Muhammadu Buhari nullifying May 29 and declaring June 12 as Democracy day?
It is a welcome development our struggle of democratisation in Nigeria, aside October 1, June 12 has remained the most significant date in our political history as a nation. It is like a retracing our steps on how it all started and restoring our hope to lead the rest of Africa as a truly democratic nation. It is such a momentous and remarkable date to us as a people because it represents the day Nigerians through a collective will, put aside everything that tends to divide them to chart a new cause for themselves. So to me, June 12 represents our collective hope, aspiration and dreams to lead a better country.
Do you the think the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are sincere on the issue of June 12?
Though the June 12 announcement was a political masterstroke for the 2019 election, but right now it has become a law and that means it has become part of our existence as nation. The sensitivity of the matter that comes with the date will tell you that June 12 is not something you toy with else, it might result in serious backlash and consequence, hence I am of the opinion that the June 12 Democracy day celebration has come to stay.
Some are calling on President Buhari to declare MKO Abiola posthumously as President. Are you in support of that?
Well, that would have been a great feat but I don’t see the possibility of that happening since Abiola was not sworn-in as the president when he won the election. By declaring MKO Abiola as president posthumously will only result to over-heating the polity as there are no constitutional provision to do that, especially in this case.
What are your expectations from Senator Ahmad Lawan, the new Senate President?
Firstly, he must realise that the country comes first before party or any individual. Therefore, the new Senate President must be patriotic and transparent in discharging his duties as the president of the senate. Secondly, since he is the choice of the ruling party, he is expected to build a harmonious relationship with the executive so as to fast track the policy framework of the ruling party in order for there to be no room for excuses by the executives.
Do you think the presidency should move to the South in 2023 or remain in the North?
I don’t see any reason it should not come to the South in 2023. It will not be fair to the South since the North would have had their share of 8 years. From indication at the just concluded 2019 election, both the ruling APC and the main opposition party PDP fielded candidates from the Northern part of the country owing to the principle of fairness and equity having realised that it was still the turn of the North to produce the president. So it is expected that come 2023, such would be the order of the day during the election so as to maintain a sense of belonging to all Nigerians from all walks of life whether from the North or from the South.