TINUBU,AMBODE AND OTHERS HONOURED THE LATE POLITICAL REFORMER
The Former Governor of Lagos State , Bola Tinubu, has described the late winner of the June 12 election, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, as a worthy patriot who fought earnestly for Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement titled, “What June 12 Taught Us”, released on Sunday to commemorate the 24th anniversary of June 12, the APC chieftain reiterated that June 12 gave birth to May 29 and should therefore be declared Democracy Day.
The Former Governor explained that “the unwillingness of the Military Top Brass to leave power led to the annulment of the June 12 election otherwise. Without the insistence of June 12, there would most probably be no 4th Republic today and we would still be groaning under military dictatorship.
The APC chieftain affirmed the late MKO Abiola as an entity of the eternal Yoruba adage, which says that, “death is better with honour ,than life without dignity.”m
According to him, “The blood of those who gave their yesterday and sacrificed even their lives for the democracy and freedom we enjoy today was not shed in vain.
“He explained that the annulment was a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the millions of people who expended so much time, energy and material resources to help ensure victory for Chief MKO Abiola.
He argued that late Kashimawo Abiola in a selfless manner had committed so much of his substantial fortune towards ensuring his victory at the polls. In doing this , he was not motivated by personal , selfish or pecuniary considerations.
Speaking further, he pointed that, twenty- four years after its annulment, the spirit of June 12 lived on in the hearts and minds of millions of Nigerians .
He noted that his year’ s commemoration of the anniversary of June 12 coincided roughly with two years in office of the All Progressives Congress at the federal level,” .
Tinubu reiterated that some critics were already writing off the government as a failure, adding that the vast majority of Nigerians were aware of the “immense mess” inherited by the incumbent Administration.
He pointed out the APC government had successfully contained the challenges, and was turning the corner with “light discernible at the end of the tunnel.”
In same vein, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said it had perfected arrangement for the annual public symposium in Ikeja to mark June 12.
The Hon. Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly , Mudashiru Obasa, in his view reiterated June 12 was the herald of peaceful, free and fair electoral process in Nigeria.adding that it was therefore worthy of celebration.
The Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, also portrayed the late MKO Abiola as a merit figure,emphasizing that he joined his colleagues in the South – West to celebrate him to promote unity in the region.
In the same development, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, also explained the revoked June 12, 1993 presidential election as a turning point in the annals of the country, saying that the supreme price paid by the acclaimed winner of the election can never be forgotten.
Ajimobi pointed out this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Yomi Layinka, in Ibadan, on Monday.
The governor regretted that 24 years after the election adjudged to be the freest and fairest in the history of the country, the ideals for which late Political reformer stood, was yet to materialize.
Mr. Ajimobi said that this ideal of good governance that is centred on development remained the driving force of our administration and we fervently believe that this is what MKO would have wished for. Governor Ajimobi insisted that we should continue to follow that path in order to keep his memory alive. According to him, the late M K O Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the June 12 1993 elections, generally considered as the freest election in the history of the nation.
Chief MKO Abiola contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
The elections was later annulled by the then military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, who later stepped down for an interim government headed by Ernest Shonekan.
Chief MKO Abiola died in 1998.