All Those Who Betrayed Abiola Should Also Apologise – Shehu Sani

 

The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Mr Shehu Sani, has asked that all those who betrayed the late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola in the June 12, 1993 presidential election should apologise to his family, as well as Nigerians.

Mr Sani who made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said this in reaction to President Buhari’s apology.

Earlier on the same day, the President had apologised to the family of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief Abiola, at the special investiture and national honours awards held in honour of him and other heroes of the nation.

He tendered the apology on behalf of Nigerians and everyone involved in the struggle for democracy, after the election was annulled.

While Mr Shehu appreciated the move, he called on all those involved in the annulment of the election to also apologise.

“The president’s apology is on behalf of the whole country. Not just to the family, but to everyone who voted for Abiola.

“But there is also the need for those who had a hand in that annulment to also apologise and also, the political class that betrayed Abiola, because right now the issue is at the front burner but we know very well that in the last 25 years, there were people who ate and drank with Abiola and at the end of the day, ended up betraying him”.

Speaking further, he explained that the award was not a surprise to him as he had always known President Buhari to be a supporter June 12 mandate.

“It didn’t come to me as a surprise because from all I know from history, President Muhammadu Buhari, as far back as 1994, has always been a supporter of the restoration of the June 12 mandate.

“But what happened today with the investiture and also the apology, is an appreciation of the struggle, the sacrifice and the service of Nigerians who laid down their lives and liberty in the struggle for freedom and restoration of MKO’s mandate,” he said.

When asked if the President’s actions had political undertones, Sani said, “Yes, there are political motives to that when you have such events taking place only few months to the next election.

“But as Nigerians, as people who fought and struggled, we will take the gift and reject the political motive attached to it”.

Also, when asked if the president’s actions were an indication that he had officially become a democratic convert, considering his military background, the senator explained that an award from a government was not enough to declare him a convert to democracy.

He said, “there are principles, standards and indices to which a Democrat should conform itself to”.

June 12: Lagos Govt. Unveils Statue Of MKO Abiola

 

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday, unveiled a statue of the late politician, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, as part of activities to mark the June 12 celebrations.

The date which has remained synonymous with Abiola, following his efforts in the fight for Nigeria’s freedom and democracy, has been celebrated annually across states in the country for the past 25 years.

Described as the freest and fairest election in the nation’s history, this year’s celebration of the day was, however, symbolic.

President Muhammadu Buhari officially conferred an award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election – MKO – while also honouring other heroes of Nigeria’s democratic struggle.

Across some states, the day was marked as a public holiday in memory of Mr Abiola.

In Lagos state, a lecture as well as the unveiling of the statue which is situated at the Ojota area of Lagos, were one of the highlights of the celebration.

Among those present were the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, his wife, Bolanle, wife of late Chief M.K.O Abiola, Dr Doyinsola Abiola; Chairman, June 12 Coalition, Comrade Linus Okoroji; and Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule.

Others were former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Otunba Femi Pedro and children of the late businessman.

See photos below.

Buhari Apologises To MKO Abiola’s Family On Behalf Of Nigerian Government

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to the family of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, for his travails after the election.

The president gave the apology in Abuja on Tuesday after conferring the title, Grand Commander Of the Federal Republic on Abiola.

“On behalf of the Federal Government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of late MKO Abiola, who got the highest vote [in the election], and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of the June 12 struggle,” President Buhari said before getting guests to observe a minute’s silence in honour of those who died.

Buhari Officially Confers GCFR Title On MKO Abiola

The decision to honour MKO Abiola and to declare June 12 Democracy Day followed years of clamour by the activists, statesmen, groups as well as the family, associates, and friends of the late businessman and politician.

And President Buhari believes it is important for Nigerians to accept the decision “in good faith” and help the nation move forward.

“We cannot rewind the past but we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed and resolve to stand firm now and ease the future for the sanctity of free elections,” he said.

“Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice. This retrospective and posthumous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Declares June 12 Democracy Day, Confers Posthumous Award On Abiola

According to the President by moving past the negatives of the struggle, Nigerians would be able to fully benefit from June 12.

“Our action today is to bury the negative side of June 12 – side of ill-feelings, hate, frustration, and agony. What we are doing today is celebrating the positive side of June 12,” he said.

On June 6, 2018, President Buhari declared June 12 Nigeria’s new Democracy Day and announced that Abiola, and his running mate Babagana Kingibe, as well as human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi, would be honoured along with other heroes of democracy.

Although some have questioned the motive behind the move, the President rejected the claim.

“The decision at this event is not mean to be, and is not, an attempt to open old wounds but to put right a national wrong,” he said.

Nigerians, of their own free will, voted for Chief MKO Abiola, and Babagana Kingibe – the presidential flag bearer and running mate of the Social Democratic Party in the 1993 elections.”

He accused the government of the day of cancelling the elections when it was clear who was going to be the winners.

Although the 1993 general elections received widespread acclaim and have been adjudged as the freest and fairest elections in Nigeria’s history, military Head of State at the time, General Ibrahim Babangida annulled it.

But Chief Abiola who contested under the Social Democratic Party and held a massive lead at the polls before the annulment insisted on his mandate and that the outcome of the election be upheld.

As a result of his fight for justice, military President General Sani Abacha jailed him in 1994 after he declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria.

Despite calls in Nigeria and abroad for his release he was not released from prison and died incarcerated on July 7, 1998.

 

 

 

Buhari Officially Confers GCFR Title On MKO Abiola

A file photo of Late MKO Abiola

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally made the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, Presidential election Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

The conferment of the honour on the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola comes 25 years after the election, which is recognised as the freest in the country’s history.

It comes almost 20 years after Abiola died in detention after being jailed by military dictator General Sani Abacha for trying to claim his mandate.

Abiola’s eldest son, Kola receiving the honour on his behalf.

Details later…

You Have Awakened Heroes Of Nigeria’s Struggle, Abiola-Costello Tells Buhari

Hafsat Abiola-Costello, daughter of late Chief Moshood Abiola, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising her father and for changing Nigeria’s Democracy Day to June 12.

Speaking on Tuesday, during the Special National Honours Investiture held in commemoration of the Democracy Day in Abuja, Abiola-Costello said Buhari’s gesture has awakened many heroes of Nigeria’s struggle, and a new army for the fight for Democracy to prevail.

“By recognising June 12, you have awakened so many heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s struggle who have shown (because they stood firm on June 12) that money cannot buy them. You have called up your own new army for the defence of this country.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, this fight will not take you as it has taken MKO but let us fight and bring about the conclusion of MKO’s struggle that the Nigerian people should be the ones in full control of this country,” she said.

Abiola-Costello, who is also the daughter of late Kudirat Abiola in an emotion-laden voice recalled how her father was endeared to Nigeria. She recalled how her father prepared to deliver his inauguration speech, which he sadly, never lived to deliver.

READ ALSO: Buhari Apologises To MKO Abiola’s Family On Behalf Of Nigerian Government

“My mom told me of how he will stand in front of the mirror, preparing how will speak to Nigerians in his inauguration speech. The results were coming in and he thought he was going to be able to deliver it (his inauguration speech). I will start, ‘Fellow Nigerians…’ But he never really go that Fellow Nigerians and he will start again. He kept struggling to think of what to say to the people of Nigeria.

“All MKO wanted to say to the people of Nigeria and all MKO ever did say to the people of Nigeria is ‘I love you, the people of Nigeria, I believe in you, the people of Nigeria.”

Abiola-Costello proudly added in her speech that MKO was a man of the people, no matter the tribe. “He was born Yoruba but he loved Hausa people, Kanuri people, Efik people, Igbo people. He loved all. You just needed to be a Nigerian and MKO was your man. There were so many things he did to show this, that was why the people of Nigeria.”

The first son of late MKO Abiola, Kola also at the event praised President Buhari for remembering and honouring the Abiola family. According to him, the honour has strengthened the foundation of Nigeria’s Democracy.

June 12 Declaration Is A Renewal Of Nigeria’s Hope – Tinubu

 

 

A national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day, in honour of the late Moshood Abiola, is a renewal of Nigeria’s hope for a better nation.

He said this while giving an address at the official conferment ceremony of the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late politician on Tuesday.

According to him, regardless of what people say, the President should be rest assured that he made a good move and always has his support.

“You made a promise that you will be committed to transparency, rule of law and bring about compliance with the constitutional democracy, you’ve done it now.

“Yes, the authors, writers, columnists will come up with all sorts of analysis about why you did it, yes you did it.

“The creed of the campaign of the man whom you honoured principally, was hope.

“Thank you for bringing hope back to Nigerians. Farewell to poverty,” Tinubu said.

On the 2019 general elections, the APC chieftain said the president has kept his key campaign promises to Nigerians and should be given another chance to do more.

He also assured the president of his support all the way.

“It’s not a question of a second term, you deserve it. We’re going to work for it, no annulment of it, we are going to win with you,” he said.

Other speakers at the event included the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and daughter of the late politician, Hafsat Abiola-Costello.

QUIZ: What Do You Know About MKO Abiola, June 12

June 12 has remained one of the most symbolic dates in Nigeria’s history as it was the day the landmark 1993 presidential election was held.

Today, on the 25th anniversary of that election, President Muhammadu Buhari has officially conferred a national honour on the presumed winner of the presidential election and other heroes of the June 12 struggle.

But how well do you know Nigeria’s history?

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of Nigeria’s history.

 

Buhari Deserves A Second Term, Says Tinubu

File photo

 

A national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves a second term come 2019.

He said this while giving an address at the official conferment ceremony of the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late MKO Abiola on Tuesday.

According to him, the president has kept his key campaign promises to Nigerians and should be given another chance to do more.

“Farewell to poverty, it’s not a question of a second term – you deserve it. We’re going to work for it, no annulment of it, we are going to win with you.

 

 

“It’s the struggle of Africa to banish poverty. You are investing in education; which is the greatest weapon against poverty, you’re feeding our children, we are no longer paying for darkness and we are able to feed ourselves, not importing toothpicks anymore, thank you Mr President,” he said.

Read Also: June 12: I Accept Buhari’s Apology On Behalf Of Nigerians, Says Soyinka

Hope Renewed

On the honour given to Abiola, the former Lagos State Governor said regardless of what people say, the President should remain rest assured that he made a good move and always has his support.

“You made a promise that you will be committed to transparency, rule of law and bring about compliance with the constitutional democracy, you’ve done it now.

“Yes, the authors, writers, columnists will come up with all sorts of analysis about why you did it, yes you did it.

“The creed of the campaign of the man whom you honoured principally, was hope.

“Thank you for bringing hope back to Nigerians,” Tinubu said.

10 Interesting Things You Need To Know About MKO Abiola

File Photo of late Chief Moshood Abiola waving at a cheering crowd

 

Twenty-five years ago on June 12, the world stood still for Nigeria to witness an unprecedented event; an election that is adjudged the freest and fairest.

 

While the result of the election proved that Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) defeated his rival, Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC), the decision was rescinded and the election annulled.

 

The death of the politician after he was arrested was viewed as an attempt to stamp out democracy from Nigeria.

 

As memories of the late politician live on, here are some interesting things you need to know about him:

 

  • He was a business mogul and started doing business at the tender age of nine. He started his first business selling firewood which he did to support his old father and siblings.

 

 

  • MKO attended Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, same as former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

  • He was the editor of the school magazine The Trumpeter, while Olusegun Obasanjo was the deputy editor.

 

 

  • He was his father’s 23rd child and the first of his father’s children to survive infancy, hence the name ‘Kashimawo’ (Let us wait and see).

 

 

  • He married many wives including Simibiat Atinuke Shoaga in 1960, Kudirat Olayinka Adeyemi in 1973, Adebisi Olawunmi Oshin in 1974 among others. He also fathered many children.

 

 

  • He was involved in politics in the early stage of his and joined a political party, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) at age 19.

 

 

  • He was a publisher and chairman of Concord Press of Nigeria Limited. He also served as Chief Executive at Radio Communications Nigeria.

 

 

  • In 1994 he declared himself the lawful President of Nigeria in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island, an area mainly populated by (Yoruba) Lagos Indigenes, after which he was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of military President, General Sani Abacha.

 

 

  • From 1972 until his death Moshood Abiola had been conferred with 197 traditional titles by 68 different communities in Nigeria.

 

 

  • On July 7, 1998, only days before his scheduled release from prison, He died in Abuja, Nigeria, of a heart attack.

 

 

PS: On June 6th June 2018 he was awarded the GCFR posthumously by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy day was changed to June 12.

 

 

June 12 Declaration: It Is Never Too Late To Correct A Wrong – Osoba

 

A former governor of Ogun State, Mr Olusegun Osoba, has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, in honour of the late politician Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

He believes that regardless of comments by naysayers, it is never too late to correct a wrong.

Osoba who in 1993 was a sitting governor of Ogun State, the home state of the late MKO, explained that he was at the fore front and an active participant in the politics of the era.

According to him, he shared in the pains and fears of Nigerians, hence his joy over the fact that the president finally conferred the honour on Abiola and other heroes of Nigeria’s democracy.

“I shared the fears, the pains and anxieties of fellow Nigerians about those developments. Since that annulment, our efforts about building an enduring democracy, have not always been smooth.

“Many have sought to falsely consign the promise of the June 12 election to irrelevance.

“We have lived in denial for so long.

“I commend the decision by Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the deceit and to repair the damage by taking this symbolic step of recognising the promise of June 12, the sacrifice of Bashorun, MKO Abiola and many other heroes of democracy, nationally and internationally.

“It is never too late to correct a wrong,” he stated.

LIVE: FG Honours M.K.O Abiola, Fawehinmi, Other Heroes Of June 12

Twenty-five years after the historic June 12, 1993 elections, the Nigerian government is honouring the presumed winner of the presidential election, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, and other heroes of the country’s democracy.

Key players of June 12 struggle were invited by the President to witness the conferment of the titles on the democracy heroes.

Among the top key players invited by President Buhari include human-activist Wole Soyinka and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana.

Also, all governors elected under Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP) platform are invited to the investiture scheduled to take place on June 12, 2018, at the State House, Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

 

A file photo of Late MKO Abiola

The family of M.K.O. Abiola and that of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, alongside and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe were present at the event.

Among those invited were the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and former APC national Chairman, Bisi Akande were also invited.

Also on the guest list are Members of the National Executive Committee of the SDP including States Chairmen and Secretaries at the time of June 12, 1993, Former Senate Presidents – Iyorchia Ayu and Ameh Ebute and Speaker Agunwa Anekwe along with Principal Officers of the National Assembly elected under SDP platform, Speakers of the States Assembly elected under SDP platform, and All Chairmen of the States Traditional Councils from the six South-Western States.

Some journalists who played a key role in the June 12 struggle were also invited –  Bayo Onanuga, Kunle Ajibade, Nosa Igiebor, Kayode Komolafe and Senator Jonathan Zwingina.

Others are Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori, Ms. Ayo Obe and Professor Humphrey Nwosu.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogora, Principal Officers of the National Assembly, Members of the Federal Executive Council and all State Governors will also be at the event.

My Father Paid The Price He Believed Was Necessary For Democracy – Rinsola Abiola

My Father Paid The Price He Believed Was Necessary For Democracy – Rinsola Abiola
Rinsola Abiola on Politics Today on June 11, 2018.

 

Rinsola Abiola, daughter of the late MKO Abiola, believes the death of her father was not as a result of his personal interest but because he was convinced that it was necessary for Nigeria’s democracy.

She said this on Monday in reaction to the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day and the posthumous award conferred on her father by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rinsola, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, noted that the struggle for Democracy came at a huge cost to their family.

“My father was someone who put national comfort above his comfort, above his safety because when he did what he did – when he made that declaration, he knew what the consequences would probably be.

“But he was brave, and he did the honourable thing, irrespective of what the cost might be. So, he paid the price that he believed was necessary,” she said,

She stressed further that the nation now enjoys democracy as Nigerians are free to vote the leaders of their choice and express themselves freely.

On her experience growing up without her father, Rinsola admitted that it was difficult for her as she kept hoping her father would return someday.

“We were hoping he (Abiola) would come back and he never did. I don’t think that there is anything that would actually fully compensate for that.”

She disclosed that she chose Rinsola, as opposed to Karimat which is her Arabic name, as a way of paying tribute to my father who calls her by the name during his lifetime.

Rinsola insisted that as far as she was concerned, her father remained a wonderful, brave, and awesome man, even till death.

Abiola was the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election which was adjudged as the freest and most transparent poll conducted in the nation’s democratic history.

Although the election was annulled by the then military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), Abiola had reportedly declared himself the winner of the poll.