Obasanjo Ignored All Appeals To Honour MKO Abiola – NADECO

A collage showing the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has taken a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over what it describes as his failure to honour the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential elections, Chief MKO Abiola.

NADECO’s General Secretary and Spokesman, Ayo Opadokun, on Tuesday expressed worry over the inability of the former President to recognise the election mandate of Abiola, believed by many to have emerged winner in the polls, adjudged to be free and fair.

“President Olusegun Obasanjo who the military foisted on Nigeria for 8years ignored all appeals to close the chapter of military’s disrespect to the popular will of the Nigerian people as expressed on June 12, 1993 which results have been officially announced at all the wards, LGAs, and state levels of collations confirming Abiola’s victory,” Opadokun said in a statement.

The comments by the group come 25 years after former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the 1993 elections, an action that sparked protests in parts of the country, following the inability to recognised the late Chief Abiola as President-Elect.

NADECO, known to have been spearheading the movement for the restoration of the election mandate of the late politician, business mogul and philanthropist, also expressed worry that Obasanjo being a beneficiary of Abiola’s martyrdom ought to have recognised him.

“General Obasanjo in reaction to the popular rejection of the General Ibrahim Babangida’s annulment of the Abiola’s victory said that MKO Abiola was not the messiah Nigerian people needed,” Opadokun stated further.

Opadokun also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for formally recognizing Chief Abiola by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day celebrations in Nigeria to replace May 29.

To NADECO, President was bold enough in his declaration speech despite criticisms from some Nigerians, especially the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On June 6, President Buhari conferred a posthumous GCFR title on the presumed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Moshood Abiola.

According to Buhari, his decision to change the Democracy Day celebration is because June 12 is a more symbolic day.

He stated: “We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to Chief MKO Abiola.

“In the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12, 1993, was and is far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even October 1.”

Buhari Directs AGF To Gazette Presidential Order On June 12, Abiola, Others

Senate Asks INEC To Announce June 12, 1993 Results
A file photo of MKO Abiola

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to gazette his order on June 12 and some heroes of democracy.

The President had on Thursday declared June 12 Nigeria’s new Democracy Day and conferred the title Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, posthumously, on the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

MKO’s running mate in the election, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, and the legendary human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, were also honoured – with the title Grand Commander Order of the Niger.

According to a statement by the Personal Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the AGF is expected to take immediate steps to publish in order in the Federal Gazette.

News of the Presidents declaration went viral on Wednesday night and continued to trend through Thursday with many praising the President.

Some Nigerians including opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, were however critical of the timing of the declaration with President Buhari set to stand for re-election in eight months.

The declaration comes 25 years after the widely praised but unfortunately annulled elections and after years of calls by family, friends, associates of Chief MKO as well as statesmen and other stakeholders for him to be so honoured.

Political Scientist, Lawyer Debate Whether Nigeria Should Mark June 12

Democracy in Nigeria has always generated mixed reactions; the proponents, those “against” and the indifferent ones. This mixed grill continues as regards the day that should be call “DEMOCRACY DAY”.

While the various schools of thought continue their debates, one is forced to ask if these dates are necessary for the benefits of democracy to be seen by all.

In this episode of Faceoff, a sociologist, Sam Olisah, advises that Nigerians should forget the events of June 12 1993 and move on with their lives while a lawyer Onyekachi Ubani opposed this view insisting that being the foundation of democracy, Nigeria should revisit the election that was adjudged freest and fairest in Nigeria.

Unilag students protest renaming institution after MKO Abiola

Students of the University of Lagos on Tuesday morning organised a protest against the renaming of the institution after the late acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in a national broadcast early on Tuesday announced the renaming of the institution after Abiola for his contribution to democracy in Nigeria.

The protesting students began gathering in groups in the main campus at Akoka, Lagos immediately after the president’s announcement.

They subsequently trooped out of their hostels chanting protests songs and denouncing the change of the institution’s name.

They also blocked access to the institution and disrupted traffic on University of Lagos Road and St. Finbarrs’ College Road.

Officials the institution came out to beg the students to go back to campus saying, “We are with you.” Students shouted “NO”.

The university’s Director of Student Affairs, Olukayode Amund, was among the official who came out to beg the students to calm down.

Premium Times, an online newspaper reported the director as saying “We were all taken back. There was no due consultation and they said this is a democracy.”

The paper also reported, Bolanle Ajayi, a student of the University as saying, “Change of name is the least of our problems. Besides, there is MAPOLY, already named after Abiola.”