Memories and emotions were once again stirred as Nigerians from all walks of life commemorate the anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election believed to have been won by the late Business mogul, Chief M.K.O Abiola.
At an event organized by the pan Yoruba socio- cultural organization, the Oodua Peoples Congress, O.P.C, in Lagos to mark 24years of the June 12,1993 election, academics, politicians, civil society groups all came together to pay tributes to the man they all called the hero of Nigeria’s Democracy.
It would be recalled that twenty-four years ago Africa’s most populous nation was thrown into a political turmoil when the then military junta annulled what was adjudged to be the freest and fairest election in the history of the country.
The annulment led to widespread unrest leading to the arrest, detention and ultimately death of M.K.O Abiola, the acclaimed inner of that election.
HONOURING THE HERO
Convener of the annual event and National Coordinator of the OPC, Gani Adams lamented what he called the failure of successive governments in Nigeria to redress the injustice of the June 12, 1993 election through the declaration of June 12 as a public holiday or the naming of a national monument after the late M.K.O Abiola
“It is indeed sad that apart from the Southwest States in Nigeria which have doggedly continued to celebrate the hero and later martyr of the June 12 battle, there has been studied indifference to the June12 phenomenon by the Federal government and remarkably the rest of Nigeria. This is sadder still because the leader of that battle, M.K.O Abiola was not an ethnic champion: he was a man of pan Nigerian vision and ambition who went into politics to give the people hope, to unite them and lead them out of poverty”.
RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA NOW
Speakers at the event including the former governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu, former military administrator of Lagos State Ndubuisi Kanu and President, Women Arise campaign Joey Okey Odumakin all re-echoed calls for the restructuring of the country.
They canvassed for the restructuring of the country into politico-economic zones, bearing in mind ethnic and religious differences.
The guest lecturer Dr. Chiedozie Okoro from the University of Lagos advanced further arguments on the need to restructure Nigeria.
He argued that the string of agitations for self determination across the country all points to the need to urgently revisit the composition of the entity called Nigeria, with a view to addressing the yearnings and aspirations of the various ethic nationalities.
He however cautioned against the use of violence by any group in the country in the advancement of the campaign for restructuring.
BY SAY RAMONI.