As Nigerians, especially Yorubas, are still basking in the euphoria of the honorary award of GCFR conferred on Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola by President Muhammadu Buhari, we should not forget that the battle is not over until late Abiola is pronounced as the winner of the June 12, 1993 election instead of being called the presumed winner of the election and he is recognised as former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all his entitlements are estimated and given to the members of his family.
This is when Nigerians will fully jubilate. Anyone in this country can be given national honours as it is stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution. This had been done by former presidents of Nigeria since immemorial. The richest man in Africa, Chief Aliko Dangote and business magnate, Chief Mike Adenuga were once given GCON respectively for their meritorious contribution to the growth and development of the country.
What manner of honourary award was given to MKO Abiola? Does it attract any compensation whatsoever? We do not need to deceive ourselves that the highest position was conferred on MKO except the election is announced and he is declared as winner.
Before we start hailing the decision to make June 12 the Democracy Day, we need to ask, what happened to PMB’s election promises three years ago, in terms of power, security, jobs, welfare and many more?
June 12 is marked with public holidays in only Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Ogun states then but now it will be observed nationally as from next year. The 1993 elections were fairest and most credible elections Nigeria has ever had. MKO, one of the martyrs of Nigeria’s Democracy, a former business tycoon and philanthropist was the undisputed winner of the 1993 elections. Abiola died under suspicious circumstances shortly after the death of General Sani Abacha on the day he was due for release; July 7 1998.
While I am not an adherent of “Democracy Day” celebration (because I feel it should be encapsulated in the Independence Day), I believe the June 12 remembrance is more justifiable being the day Nigeria was denied the right to have a sane and more purposeful people-minded democracy.
Thanks to President Buhari for recognising June 12 as “Democracy Day” after recalcitrance of past Presidents of Nigeria
Epe, Lagos State.