Today marked 20 years since the June 12, 1993 presidential elections.
The National Co-ordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, has challenged the country’s leaders to tell Nigerians the truth of what killed the widely believed winner of the annulled 1993 Presidential Election, Moshood Abiola.
Mr. Adams made this call at a lecture commemorating 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election. The lecture was organised by the OPC in Ogba, Lagos on Tuesday.
“There is truly an urgent need for us to know the truth, acknowledge it, make amends and set Nigeria on the right path of genuine recovery and glory,” he said.
Mr. Abiola, popularly called M.K.O Abiola, was politician, philanthropist and businessman. He died in prison on July 7, 1998. He was imprisoned by the military junta of General Sani Abacha for demanding his mandate as the president-elect after the 1993 election that had been annulled by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
According to Mr. Adams, Mr. Abiola laid down his life for us to enjoy democracy today. He said the day is symbolic in our struggle for a viable democracy.
The guest lecturer of the event and former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, said June 12, 1993 set “a milestone in the struggle for democracy in the country.” He said the day shows that Nigerians are capable of putting aside our religious and ethnic politicking for the sake of the country.
“On June 12 1993, Nigerians voted massively to reject ethnic and religious bigotry,” he said.
Mr. Kalu also said Nigeria is a country lacking in social justice and that the country may fail if there is no social justice.
“The lack of social justice has created an army of disgruntled and dissatisfied people,” he said.
He advised politicians to do away with election rigging saying it is a “precursor to violence.”
He said in order to prevent election rigging, elections into all elective positions in the country should be held on the same day. According to him spreading election over several weeks as is currently done has grave “economic and social consequences” for the country.