12 June 2013

Nigeria: June 12 Is a Unique Day - Jonathan

Photo: Vanguard

President Goodluck Jonathan has described June 12 as a unique day "that has changed the political history of this country in one way or the other."

Mr. Jonathan, who spokes to State House reporters in Abuja, said, "In some parts of the country some state governments have declared public holiday to mark today, but at the centre it has not been formally recognised as a public holiday."

The president did not say whether o not he would heed the calls to recognise the day.

Mr. Jonathan told inaugurated members of the Police Service Commission that "we appreciate what happened on this day, that you are being inaugurated on this date, I think is a unique date."

June 12 is marked as Democracy Day in some south western states in remembrance of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Moshood Abiola of the then Social Democratic Party. The election, considered Nigeria's freest and fairest, was annulled by the military government and Mr. Abiola was later detained and died in prison.

Speaking with journalists after the swearing in ceremony, the chairman of the police commission, Mike Okiro, assured that his commission will address the issues that are were hindering the optimal performance of the Police Force.

"We will look at the extant laws and see the areas that the Police Service Commission is supposed to act to reform the Nigerian Police force and if it is an issue that requires the handiwork and cooperation of everybody; the press, you people, Nigerians, and the police officers themselves have to open up their minds for reform," he said.

He said the police perform better outside Nigeria because the environment is different and they had more equipment and resources to work with.

"It is not an indictment on the system neither is it on the presidency or me. What we are talking about is that time changes, society is dynamic. What happened few years ago is not what is happening now. You know at that time there was no Boko Haram but there is right now," he added.

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