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.
I love comics at heart. I know this because I’m online everyday looking for them. But not the kind you’re thinking. There’s an overwhelming pool of content from established names like DC, Marvel and DarkHorse, each telling stories well suited to specific demographics. Stories that while beautiful and easily relatable, are strange and so distant from us. I scour the internet for entirely African created content and while there are quite a few, I’ve noticed a problematic trend. Nigeria has sort of become the locus of African comics, superhero titles anyway.