• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

DEMOCRACY: Abiola Day Should Remain — Samson Omotayo Ajibade

ByHybrid News

Aug 20, 2023


The global recognition of a five-year-old election remains elusive, as emphasized by Emeka Anyaoku and Kofi Annan to Chief MKO Abiola.

If a twenty-three-year-old election lacks recognition, how then can we acknowledge a 23-year-old election? Fortunately, Chief Abiola is now acknowledged as the rightful winner of the annulled election. Nonetheless, numerous unanswered questions persist.

On a radiant Saturday morning, June 12, 1993, a sense of hope and jubilation permeated the air, signifying the nearing dawn of civilian rule. Even if we were not present, we’ve heard accounts, and even if we were young, the stories were passed down through generations. Let Nigeria’s history bear witness to a single instance when a fair and impartial election took place. Let it be conveyed to the generations unborn that our forebears cast their votes devoid of ethnic, religious, or biased sentiments, even after the initial primary election was invalidated. Now, we stand in the future we envisioned.

We unitedly voted for MKO Abiola, yet the reasons for annulling the initial primary election were forgotten. Has he truly reevaluated his stance? We chose two rivals to navigate our nation’s course. Can this truly work?

Kingibe represented the People’s Front (PF), while Abiola was from the People’s Solidarity Faction. Abiola triumphed by a narrow margin, yet we expected his primary rival to become his vice and subsequently, the President of the third republic? Is this not an unsupported notion? Would he have accepted this graciously? Nigerian politics is tainted by distrust and suspicion; that’s the unembellished reality.

In the heat of the struggle, did Kingibe and Yar’Adua not forge an alliance with the very government that thrust Abiola onto a fateful path? Remember Baba Gana Kingibe, the Minister of Power and Steel during the Abacha administration?

Nonetheless, we must scrutinize the stance of the individual who posthumously recognized Abiola as the victor of June 12 while he held a governmental position (PTF Chairman) under the leadership that imprisoned and ultimately silenced Abiola. Democracy must not be merely uttered; it must be evident and tangible to the masses. It should permeate our way of life and our actions if we genuinely honor Abiola’s struggle.

Regrettably, Abiola did not live to recount his tale. Those who betrayed him and abandoned him in adversity are now hailed as esteemed statesmen. Those who disdained him now bask in the glory of democracy, all to secure political prominence. But don’t be deceived, if democracy doesn’t reside within, its practice will only be vexatious.
Those who vociferously opposed renaming UNILAG to MAULAG (a federal institution built without ancestral funding) now laud a civilian-military administration that acknowledges June 12 as Democracy Day.

Time has the potential to erode the true essence of Abiola’s struggle unless properly immortalized. A mere declaration falls short; democracy must be deeply entrenched within our society.

Are there any monuments in Lagos commemorating him? Ere Abiola, where are his statues, hostels, uncompleted buildings, and the forgotten football pitch? Kudos to the Ogun State Government for naming the Ogun State Polytechnic (MAPOLY) after him.

How will this renaming affect the students’ educational standards and welfare?

How will the addition of “Abiola” impact UNILAG’s reputation?

How many ventilators has the university produced to combat the WUHAN VIRUS?

The one produced on June 15th, concocted by an alumnus who sought practical knowledge independently? Alas, it’s no longer an innovation. And which hospital has agreed to test it on patients?

I humbly beseech the Lagos State Government to christen its seat of power (Alausa Secretariat) after Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. Furthermore, the University of Lagos should also bear his name.

In light of the aforementioned, do you realize how many Abiolas have been unjustly detained under this “democratic” civilian-military regime? Inquire with the genuine journalists, and they will elucidate. Ask Omoyele Sowore, ask Mr. Abiri, ask Steven Kefas, and others.

So, how do we define democracy in the absence of freedom? What characterizes democracy if we’re deprived of the right to express ourselves and the press?

Were you aware that the conclusive autopsy results conducted by international coroners on Abiola’s demise have never been unveiled? Should we trust your declaration then? Publish the results now.
Were all his due entitlements settled? Indeed, they should be granted to his family.

Did you acknowledge that your superior erred in imprisoning Abiola? And what did you do about it?
A mere proclamation falls short; democracy must be upheld, woven into our society, and inscribed into our historical records.

It’s best to maintain it as Abiola Day, ensuring his name resounds in perpetuity.

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