A former political assistant to the late Moshood Abiola, Olu Akerele, has remained unrelenting in his advocacy for the official recognition of what he describes as “the democratic martyrdom of MKO Abiola as the icon of the current democracy and his posthumous declaration as president-elect of Nigeria”.
In a press statement in Abuja Thursday, Mr. Akerele said “for a man who selflessly martyred himself and whose blood watered the tree of the very democracy that we enjoy today, declaring him president-elect posthumously and recognizing the day that symbolizes his political struggle will not be too much to assuage his spirit and to give proper repose to the soul of such political icon.”
He maintained that “the late icon of democracy (whose pan-Nigerian and cross-cultural electoral victory on June 12 remains a watershed in the democratic learning experience of Nigeria) was conspiratorially martyred on July 07, 1998, after four years of incarceration by the military junta of the late General Sani Abacha”.
Mr. Akerele said as “true democrats, pro-democracy activists, Nigerians and Nigeria remember the late Chief MKO Abiola on June 12.”
He renewed his annual appeal to the ruling political administration of President Buhari “to do the needful and the long overdue, namely give Abiola the deserved honour,” appealing that the late doyen be invested with the highest title of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR) reserved only for Nigerian presidents”.
He argued that the late politician not only won the freest and fairest election, but that his name currently symbolizes the struggle to end military dictatorship and the crusade to install democracy in Nigeria.
“Abiola built bridges across ethnic, regional, religious and political divides,” Mr. Akerele said. “Today marks the twenty-second anniversary of the annulment of the one and only election still adjudged to be the freest and fairest in Nigeria, the June 12 Presidential Election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.”
He also renewed his annual call for a day to be set aside to commemorate Mr. Abiola’s passage.