The leader of the Odua People’s Congress, OPC, Gani Adams, said most followers of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, have turned their back on the late politician.
Mr. Adams, who spoke in Lagos at an event to commemorative the annulled election, said that those who benefited most from Mr. Abiola are the ones working against him now.
“It is sad today that those that benefited most from MKO Abiola’s martyrdom do not want to be reminded of him. And those who used to talk about injustice have since, given the opportunity, inflicted their own injustice on the people.
“Those who used to swear by Abiola’s name have since found new political patrons. Those who proclaimed Abiola as the symbol of democracy and the rallying point for the peoples’ hopes have since been dancing on his grave.”
The OPC leader said it was sad that only the Southwest states consider making June 12 a public holiday to celebrate the late sage even though he was a national figure with no ethnic bias.
“It is indeed sad that apart from the Southwest states of Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, and Osun, which have doggedly continued to celebrate the hero and later martyr of that battle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, there has been studied indifference to the June 12 phenomenon by the Federal Government and remarkably, the rest of Nigeria.”
Mr. Adams urged the Nigerian government to declare June 12 a national day to immortalize Mr. Abiola.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, should as a matter of honour to the late politician and business mogul, Abiola, who fought and died for the current democracy, make June 12 of every year a national holiday.”
Meanwhile, eminent Nigerians, including former governors of Lagos and Abia States, Ndubuisi Kanu and Orji Uzor Kalu respectively, a professor, Sophie Oluwole, and social activists, Joe Okei-Odumakin and Tony Uranta used the opportunity of the anniversary of the 1993 election to call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
They also called on the Nigerian government to immortalise Mr. Abiola.
Mrs. Okei-Odumakin said: “The ideals of June 12 still live. We must imbibe them. The Federal Government must speak the change and act the change by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria”.
She also called on the government to declare the late Mr. Abiola as the winner of the annulled election, adding that “Nigeria must be restructured.”
Other at the event who spoke on the need to restructure Nigeria include Debo Adeniran, Joseph Evah, Banji Akintoye, Tony Uranta and Chidozie Okoro, among others.