By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
The son of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Abdulmumini Abiola has stated that his father, Chief MKO Abiola died a happy man having fought for the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
Abdulmumini who spoke at an event, organised to mark Democracy day in Ogun, his father’s home State, said “With the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, my father’s vision has been fulfilled, even after death.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, Abdulmumini commended the Federal government for at last recognising June 12 as Democracy Day, insisting that the decision would entrench the country’s democracy.
Abdulmumini said, “It is important we understand that Nigeria belongs to all of us or none of us at all.”
He urged the Federal government to look into his father’s manifestoes, especially the areas of poverty alleviation and appealed that the Federal government must take urgent steps to lessen the poverty level in the country.
His words, “Today is a historic day. The actualisation of the long battle and campaigning for justification for June 12 as Democracy Day has finally come to fruition. The event of June 12 marked the freest and fairest elections held in Nigeria at the time”.
“The decision of General Ibrahim Babaginda to annul the election was a surprise to both my family and the Nigerian people in general because my dad and the General (Babaginda) were close friends.”
“But I was so proud that Chief MKO Abiola was able to stand for what he believed to be true. It is important we do this when you find that justice is supposed to be done, especially in a country like Nigeria where so many people are suffering. We need to be just with one another.”
“It is a day of reflection. I do not intend to celebrate this day. I intend to reflect on where we are as a nation, where we intend to go and where my children will be.”
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun pledged that his administration would incorporate the visions of Abiola into his government.
Abiodun urged political leaders to make the sacrifice of Abiola count and continue to enthrone good governance for the benefit of the people.
The Governor who spoke through his Deputy, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, enjoined Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the service of the nation and continue to remain united and patriotic.
According to him, Abiola did not only fight for the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria but “died fighting for the people.”
“It was creating an equitable society and enlarging opportunities for individual and societal development that Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola stood and died for. We vow to bring this vision to fruition in Ogun State.”
“I charge all our political actors not to lose sight of the significance of June 12, 1993. So much labour and struggles have been invested in order to ensure the attainment and the survival of democracy we now enjoy.”
“We are determined to entrench good governance which will further enhance the quality of life of our people. Just as Chief MKO Abiola was neither a sectional leader nor biased in his dealings with everyone he came across, we vow to enthrone transparency in our efforts at taking Ogun State to the height as envisioned by our forebears”, the Governor said.
Earlier in the day, the State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele led politicians, government officials and a cross section of the society to Abiola’s Gbagura, Abeokuta family house where prayers were offered to Abiola and his family.