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22 Years After, Activists Challenge Buhari To Immortalise Abiola

By Ayo Balogun, Lagos – Twenty-two years after, activists have called on PresidentMuhammadu Buhari to immortalise the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, late Chief Moshood Abiola.

Comrade Kayode Opeifa, a June 12 activist stated that Abiola deserved to be immortalised and all those who fought for the actualisation of June 12, urging the Buhari to declare that day a public holiday to serve as a memorial.

Late MKO Abiola

Late MKO Abiola

“Government should declare it public holiday and it may not be that people will not go to work, it can be for a memorial. June 12 symbolises the real struggle after independent in Nigeria, I was part of it, we knew what we were fighting for and we have it now. In 2015, Nigerians allow Buhari to come in,that is the gain of June 12.

“June 12 was the day of the election but June 23 was the annulment. The annulment was the issue. We could put any date. ABiola deserved to be immortalised and all organisations that fought for it,” he said.

Comrade Debo Adeniran, founder, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL said Abiola deserved to be immortalised rather than June 12 as he was the symbol of the botched election.

“It is Abiola that should be immortalised and not June 12. Everything that led to June 12 and its aftermath was Abiola who represented the will and wishes of the people who championed the aftermath of June 12 election where 40 million Nigerians came to vote and were denied the proceeds of that effort.

“The present regime should waste no time before they immortalise him. There is nothing stopping the government from naming the National Stadium, Abuja after him or any other national monument, even the nation Mosque in Abuja can be named after him,” he said.

Comrade Biodun Aremu said to immortalise Abiola, the present government should stand by what Abiola stood for, saying that it was not just naming a monument after him that was the issue, but fulfilling his ideals.

“Even those who claimed to love Abiola are hypocrites. There is no official gazette in any South West State that June 12 should be declared holiday, so if any government comes in now, he can decide not to have it.

“June 12 is just the day of the election, it was annulled June 23. People came to vote him to eradicate poverty. The same thing led to the voting of Buhari, people want change. Abiola will be immortalised if the government keeps their electoral promises. All those who claim they are immortalising June 12, in what way have they been responsible in making things good. The elements like Faseun and others who built their popularity on it, what has become of them? The basic things must be provided,” he stated.

Also, Yinka Odumakin, another activist said it is pointless asking anybody to immortalise Abiola, as the late business mogul had himself as June 12 has come to stay.

“The very essence that did not allow June 12 to stay is still very much with us now. At the National Conference 2014, when somebody raised a motion to recognise Abiola, it was shut down.

“The forces that did not want MKO to be president based on nationality question are still very much around and that issue should be resolved. June 12 was about the possibility of a new Nigeria. The issue of nationality question should be resolved.


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