The National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, on Friday put together a befitting programme in commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by business mogul, late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
The venue of the event, which took place at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos, was filled to the brim.
At the public lecture, the President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said: “We are making the 22nd anniversary of the freest and fairest and the most peaceful election that was annulled by a cabal.
“M.K.O. Abiola was dogged and committed and paid the supreme price.”
Odumakin said Abiola could have chickened out but he upheld the mandate of the people who set aside religious sentiments to vote a Muslim-Muslim ticket he flew with Babagana Kingibe.
The popular female activist said the National Stadium in Surulere in Lagos must be named after Abiola by this new government and June 12 should be seen as the real democracy day and also set aside as public holiday in Nigeria.
According to her: “We must not rest but ensure that democracy has a sound footing in Nigeria.”
One of the special guests and heroes of June 12, former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, in his own submission said it is a disservice to the country to ignore Abiola in the success of democracy of Nigeria.
Kanu urged the present administration to name the Aso Rock Presidential Villa after Abiola.
Kanu thanked Adams for putting together the historic event.
Adams spoke of the urgent need to honour Abiola by the present regime.
He hinged this on the high expectation of Nigerians from the current administration and the need to as matter of urgency accelerate promises made to Nigerians during electioneering.
He said: “The significance of celebrating the anniversary of June 12 is foremost to use the date to caution on the underlying tragedies that may continue to befall the country if the government insists on not using the principles inherent in the day as a basis for running a people focused government.”
Comrade Debo Adeniran said Nigeria is a country where anything goes, stressing that otherwise nothing could have made the country jettison the electoral system that produced the annulled presidential election of Abiola, still adjudged the best in the nation’s political history.
Adeniran asked the present political players to be mindful of the date in celebrating Abiola because he laid down his life for the success of Nigeria’s democracy.