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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

Easter 2016: Ajimobi Preaches Hard Work, Patriotism

Ajimobi-Oyo StateThe Oyo State Governor has expressed optimism that the country is capable of scaling the current economic precipice through selflessness, hard work and patriotism by the people, irrespective of social stratification.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi made the statement on Friday in his Easter message on Good Friday.

The Governor said these were the sterling attributes that distinguished Jesus Christ for which his death and resurrection had become an annual celebration among the Christians.

He felicitated with the people of the state, particularly Christians, on the occasion of the 2016 Easter celebration, a period the Governor said was meant for sacrifice and forgiveness as exemplified by the life and times of Jesus Christ.

Harping on hard work, Governor Ajimobi said that no country could survive if its working-age population relies heavily on the government for survival instead of getting actively engaged in profitable ventures to eke out a living.

The Governor urged citizens of the state, particularly those in the public service to be more dedicated and committed to the vision of his administration towards reinventing the state economy through the agriculture value chain.

In the spirit of collective responsibility, Governor Ajimobi said that citizens of the state should make sacrifices and be prepared to embrace and contribute to the programmes, policies and activities of the government as they unfold.

“We can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. This is the time for us to start breaking the eggs. Without pains, there will be no gains. The Bible even supports this by saying that ‘in all labour there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

“It is also in the Bible that by the sweat of your face, you will eat bread, till you return to the ground; whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

“The current economic situation does not provide room for laggards and lazy ones. You must sacrifice your time and enjoyment in order for this state and the country to move forward,” he said.

As other states in the country intensify efforts to get out of the mire of poverty, the Governor solicited the support and cooperation of people of the state in the renewed efforts by the government to also regenerate the economy of the state.

“That Oyo State must be made better is not the job of government alone, it is the collective responsibility of all of us to make sure the state is made better and I am so happy that we can now see some of the developments that have taken place in the state.

“Very soon, we are going into agricultural revolution in Oyo State, which I am very sure would make positive impact on the socio economic status of the state. So my message is that all of us must rededicate ourselves to improving the economy of the state.

“It is not only by words of mouth, it is not by sloganeering or going around telling lies and inventing stories, we can only achieve our goal through hard work and dedication. Easter is telling us that whatever we want to achieve in life, we must be committed to it and be prepared to make sacrifice,” the Governor said.

Oyo Declares Public Holiday For Olubadan’s Coronation

OlubadanThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has declared Friday, March 4, as public holiday throughout the state to commemorate the coronation of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan land.

The new Oba Saliu Olasupo Adetunji will be installed at the historic Mapo Hall in the heart of Ibadan on Friday.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, in an interview with Channels Television, said that preparations were in top gear for a successful coronation.

Dignitaries are expected from all walks of life both within the country and from the diplomatic community.

Mr Layinka added that all arrangements have been concluded with security agents to ensure that no breach in security is recorded during and after the historic event.

He, however, warned all corporate organisations not to litter the state with any illegal branding of any sort for the event as the entire programme is sponsored by the Oyo State Government.

He added that market places and business premises are expected to be closed for business while the event lasts to honour the new king.

The last coronation of this nature was done for the late Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, in 2007.