‘MKO Deserves It:’ Nigerians Praise Buhari For Announcing June 12 Democracy Day

Many Nigerians on Wednesday expressed great excitement on the announcement of June 12 as the new Democracy day in honour of Chief Moshood Abiola.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who made the announcement, noted that June 12 is a date which is more symbolic than May 29 or even October 1. He also conferred a posthumous GCFR award on MKO Abiola.

In various tweets, many Nigerians described the declaration as a historic feat and a dream come true. They also believed that this is a step towards fostering peace and unity in Nigeria, adding that the June 12, 1993 election was one which Nigerians massively voted in fairness.

The President in his announcement on Wednesday also noted that June 12, 1993, election was the freest, fairest and most peaceful election since Nigeria’s Independence.

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Few others, however, expressed mixed reaction as they described President Buhari’s action as politically motivated even as the 2019 elections is just around the corner.

See tweets below…

 

Some added humour to their opinion with hilarious reactions. They also took a swipe at Former President Olusegun Obasanjo with funny memes.

See tweets below…

June 12: South West States Celebrate Historic Election

June 12Nigerians today mark the 23 years anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, widely acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history.

The poll is believed to have been won by business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Abiola.

While the significance of the date is acknowledged across the country, it is mainly states in the south west that actually recognise and mark it with some activities.

Ogun 

In Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital South West Nigeria and the hometown of the late Moshood Abiola, the occasion was marked with a walk organized by the state government and a special prayer session at the family house of the late business mogul.

From the take-off point of the walk at the June 12 Cultural Centre, through major streets of the state, the state deputy governor led other members of the State Executive Council on the walk which lasted for about two hours and terminated at the family house of the late MKO Abiola.

June-12-walk-abeokuta
Ogun State government leads a walk round the city of Abeokuta, the state capital.

Addressing family members, Islamic clerics and members of the State Executive Council and other dignitaries, the Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, commended the doggedness of the late MKO Abiola saying that his resilience has brought about the current democratic experience in the country

Representing Governor Ibikunle Amosun, she reiterated the commitment of the state government towards sustaining events that would continue to bring the day into the sub consciousness of residents.

June-12-special-prayer
Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga with members of the Abiola family during a special prayer session at the family house of the late business mogul

Speaking to journalists after the prayer session, one of the family members and younger brother of the late politician, Muritala Abiola, said that life has not been easy since the death of their bread winner.

The family would also want the federal government to declare the late Abiola posthumously as the winner of that election.

Osun 

In Osun State, civil society groups held a rally in Osogbo the state capital to promote their view that June 12 should be regarded as Democracy Day instead of May 29.

The group comprising civil society organisations, students and market women walked from Ayetoro area to Freedom Park and later moved on to Olaiya junction singing and chanting songs of democracy.

June 12
Activists in Osun State say June 12 is the real Democracy Day for Nigeria

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the rally, some of the human rights activists, Waheed Saka and Rasheed Ropo argued that the June 12, 1993 presidential election gave birth to democracy in Nigeria.

They noted that it remains the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of the country.

They also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the “farewell to poverty” manifesto of the late MKO Abiola.

They called for a posthumous declaration of Abiola as a President of Nigeria while urging the federal government to tackle the various challenges facing the country headlong.

Oyo 

Workers in Oyo State would be observing a work-free day on Monday as the Oyo State Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, has declared Monday, June 13, as public holiday in commemoration of the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

A statement by the Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy to the Governor, Mr Yomi Layinka, conveyed the Governor’s decision, on Sunday.

“June 12 remains a watershed in the history of the country, because of the significance of the day in the nation’s democratic journey, having broken all ethnic and religious barriers.

“The annulled election is yet to be matched in terms of freeness, fairness, transparency, openness and widespread acceptability,” the Governor said.

He urged the Federal Government to “immortalize and officially recognize Abiola as a former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to confer on him the highest honour in the land befitting of a former president”.

Lagos

The Office of Civic Engagements in the office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State marked the 23rd anniversary of June 12 with the theme, ‘Democracy And Inclusiveness; A Basis For Good Governance’.

Ayo-Opadokun-June-12-event
Former NADECO leader, Chief Ayo Opadokun , speaks at an event to mark June 12 in Lagos

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, called for true federalism and national unity regardless of religion and ethnicity.

Also speaking at the occasion, legal practitioner and former NADECO leader, Chief Ayo Opadokun said that June 12 would continue to remain relevant in the nation’s democratic history.

He also called on federal and state authorities to show more respect for the rule of law.

Life’s Been Difficult Since MKO Abiola Died – Brother

MKO AbiolaYounger brother of the late MKO Abiola, Muritala Abiola, says life has not been easy for the family since the death of their bread winner.

Mr Abiola spoke to journalists after a prayer session which held at the family house of the late business mogul in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, South West Nigeria.

The event was to mark the 23rd anniversary of the June 12 presidential election, widely acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history.

The poll is believed to have been won by business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Abiola but was annulled by the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Chief Abiola later died in custody on July 7, 1998 following his arrest and detention by the regime of General Sani Abacha, for attempting to actualise his mandate.

“We feel the impact of his death because he was the breadwinner of the family – everyone of us, up to the aged people.

“But since he has died now, everything has been going down,” he said.

The family would also want the federal government to declare the late Abiola posthumously as the winner of that election.

The prayer session was preceded by a walk organized by the state government.

From its take-off point at the June 12 Cultural Centre, through major streets of the state, the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, led other members of the State Executive Council on the walk which lasted for about two hours and terminated at the family house of the late MKO Abiola.

Addressing family members, Islamic clerics and members of the State Executive Council and other dignitaries, Mrs Onanuga commended the doggedness of the late MKO Abiola, saying that his resilience has brought about the current democratic experience in the country

Speaking on behalf of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, she reiterated the commitment of the state government towards sustaining events that would continue to keep the day in the minds of Ogun residents.

 

June 12 Anniversary: Osun Declares Monday Work-Free

June 12Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has declared Monday, June 13 as work free-day in commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

This is according to a statement signed by the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon.

Governor Aregbesola affirmed that June 12 most symbolises democracy because it was the date of the unequivocal affirmation of the unity of the country by Nigerians across all divides.

Meanwhile, civil society groups held a rally in Osogbo, the state capital to promote their view that June 12 should be regarded as Democracy Day instead of May 29.

The group, comprising civil society organisations, students and market women walked from Ayetoro area to Freedom Park and later moved on to Olaiya junction singing and chanting songs of democracy.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the rally, some of the human rights activists, Waheed Saka and Rasheed Ropo argued that the June 12, 1993 presidential election gave birth to democracy in Nigeria.

They noted that it remains the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of the country.

Asides calling for a posthumous declaration of Abiola as a President of Nigeria, they also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the “farewell to poverty” manifesto of the late MKO Abiola.

They urged the federal government to tackle the various challenges facing the country headlong.

Sunday marked the 23rd anniversary of the day that has come to be recognised as a defining moment in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and the struggle to break the grip of military rule.

Popularly known as June 12, it commemorates the day in 1993, when the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the country’s presidential election.

Widely acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history, the poll is believed to have been won by business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Abiola.

No reason was given for the annulment of the election, but it triggered a series of upheavals and protests across the country that eventually forced General Babangida out of office.

Chief Abiola later died in custody on July 7, 1998 following his arrest and detention by the regime of General Sani Abacha, for attempting to actualise his mandate.

23 Years After, Activists Say June 12 Is Real Democracy Day

AbiolaToday marks the 23rd anniversary of the day that has come to be recognised as a defining moment in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and the struggle to break the grip of military rule.

Popularly known as June 12, it commemorates the day in 1993, when the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the country’s presidential election.

Widely acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history, the poll is believed to have been won by business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Moshood Abiola.

No reason was given for the annulment of the election, but it triggered a series of upheavals and protests across the country that eventually forced General Babangida out of office.

Chief Abiola later died in custody on July 7, 1998 following his arrest and detention by the regime of General Sani Abacha, for attempting to actualise his mandate.

While the significance of the date is acknowledged across the country, it is mainly states in the south west that actually recognise and mark it with some activities.

Basis For Good Governance

The Office of Civic Engagements in the office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State marked the 23rd anniversary of June 12 with the theme, ‘Democracy And Inclusiveness; A Basis For Good Governance’.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, called for true federalism and national unity regardless of religion and ethnicity.

Also speaking at the occasion, legal practitioner and former NADECO leader, Chief Ayo Opadokun said that June 12 would continue to remain relevant in the nation’s democratic history.

He also called on federal and state authorities to show more respect for the rule of law.

Real Democracy Day

In Osun State, civil society groups held a rally in Osogbo the state capital to promote their view that June 12 should be regarded as Democracy Day instead of May 29.

The group comprising civil society organisations, students and market women walked from Ayetoro area to Freedom Park and later moved on to Olaiya junction singing and chanting songs of democracy.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the rally, some of the human rights activists, Waheed Saka and Rasheed Ropo argued that the June 12, 1993 presidential election gave birth to democracy in Nigeria.

They noted that it remains the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of the country.

They also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the “farewell to poverty” manifesto of the late MKO Abiola.