June XII is the title and lead character in Ibrahim “Sirgai” Ganiyu’s comic. June XII marks the first elections after the 1983 military coup that resulted in the widely acknowledged victory of Moshood Abiola in 1993 and subsequently, its annulment by Ibrahim Babaginda and eventually, General Sonny Abacha’s coup.
The day is celebrated by some in pro-Abiola states. In a 2013 interview with Vanguard, Senator Roland Owie argued that, while the elections were free and fair, the events leading to Abiola’s candidature and presumed victory weren’t as rosy. That notwithstanding, the day stands as a herald of Nigerian democracy and some have even hailed it as Nigeria’s true democracy day. This is most likely Sirgai’s inspiration for the comic and we’re grateful for the birth of a living corruption eraser.
On the twenty-third anniversary of the day that spurred the comic, we share our thoughts.
You’re walking down the street when you hear something loud from behind you with such force that your hairs briefly rise in alarm. Instinct kicks in and you step to the side then look behind you. You kiss your teeth, smirk and amusingly scold yourself for the silly scare. In fact, you look on nostalgically as a bunch of kids zoom past you in what looks like a wheelbarrow race but really is just them pushing old car tires with sticks in them, sometimes with water for lubrication.
The unburdened excitement plastered on their faces stirs something within you. Ah, childhood memories. Then you wonder, what if? Continue reading