June 12 is a very significant and historic day in the political history of Nigeria. Nigerians, on that day in 1993, showed the world the true meaning of unity in diversity, brotherhood across the borders, and togetherness when they jettisoned all primordial considerations be it religion, ethnicity, or tribe in electing their political leader in a very free, fair and transparent election. Regrettably, that historic feat was short-lived by the annulment of the said election. The fact of the annulment threw Nigerians back into Military dictatorship until 1999 when the present democratic dispensation began.
The significance of today made the present Administration to change Democracy Day in Nigeria from May 29 to June 12. It is therefore important to say *”Happy Democracy Day to all Nigerians including and in particular, my dear Colleagues of the Legal Profession”* especially as we prepare for the election of new leaders for our Association.
As we celebrate today, let us remember that our Constitutional Democracy is a work in progress. We still have a lot of steps to climb, problems to solve, and questions to answer. The beauty of today is that, June 12, can signify our political will and determination as a people to conquer our problems and challenges; some of which are real developments, low standard of living of the people, adherence to Rule of Law in all its ramifications including but not limited to the independence of the Judiciary and protection of Fundamental Rights and Civil Liberty of the people.
This is because democracy is essentially about the people and people are at the very centre of democracy. We must continually invest in the development of the people of our country and the Nigerian Bar Association has a role to play in advancing the progress of the people.
Happy Democracy Day.
Dele Adesina SAN, FCIArb