Tension, fear and apprehension which preceded Saturday, June 12, vanished as the day came like any other day in Ondo and Ekiti states.
Some people, had before the day, set aside by the Federal Government to celebrate Democracy Day, embarked on panic-buying of foodstuffs on the pretext that protests which started on that day will last for longer period, just like last year’s #EndSARs protest.
However, aside from some pockets of peaceful protest by some youths in Akure, Ondo state capital, commercial activities went on smoothly. Same was, also, the case in Ekiti state.
People were skeptical of coming out early in the morning but when feelers came that the city was calm, some left for their places of work.
In some areas in Ado Ekiti, there were burial and marriage ceremonies where large crowds gathered to celebrate with friends and relations.
The popular Fajuyi park was empty except for few people that trooped to the relaxation joint inside the park to relax.
In Akure,the situation in early morning was calm with people going about their normal duties.
Later, just before noon, some youths embarked on a peaceful protest to mark the celebration of the June 12 democracy day.
Carrying placards, the youths took to the street to demand good governance as well as an urgent end to insecurity.
Police Commands in both States had earlier warned that those caught formenting troubles would be dealt with according to the law.
The Commissioner of Police in Ondo state, Mr Bolaji Salami, in a statement stated that “inspite of the increase in the volume of fake news in circulation over the 2021-June 12, Democracy Day, Ondo State Police Command under his supervision will remain committed to its regular and consistent Community policing style in Ondo State.
“He, therefore, warned that if there is any group proposing any protest, it should be done within the ambit of our law, as his Command will not welcome any act of criminality during and after the celebration.
The statement, signed by the image maker, Mr Leo Ikoro, added that “CP Salami said though there is the rumour of insecurity with intimidating effect all over the State, Ondo State Police Command in conjunction with other security agencies are well on hand to deal decisively with any person or group who may want a replay of the ENDSARS debacle
“He further said citizens should see the 2021-June 12 Democracy Day as a promotion of our awareness on issues relating to democratic principles, and never a day intended to focus on issues or practicalities that will deepen our fear of the unknown.”
CP Tunde Mobayo of Ekiti State Command in his statement, while assuring the people of adequate security, cautioned against any form of criminal activities.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday Abutu indicated that the Commissioner has ordered the deployment of additional operatives to complement the existing ones in all strategic points in the State and implore everyone to go about their lawful businesses.
According to him, there is no restriction of lawful movements across the State comes June 12, 2021.
“The CP advises everyone to shy away from any act that could jeopardize the efforts of the security Operatives in ensuring the safety of lives and properties of the Citizens as well as a peaceful atmosphere in our society as anyone found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
June 12 is a Federal Holiday, and Democracy Day, so named in honor of Chief MKO Abiola who, without doubt, won the June 12 1993 Presidential election, which was cancelled.
Abiola, sadly, died while in the custody of the Military.