The Oyo State Government, its Lagos and Ogun State counterparts have on Saturday declared June 12, 2018 as public holiday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annulled 1993 Presidential election adjudged to have won by Late Moshood Kasimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola as well to enable residents and other stakeholders to mark the Democracy Day as well
These were contained in a statements by the three States Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Senator Ibikunle Amosun signed by Oyo Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, the Secretaries to the Lagos and Ogun State Government, Mr Toye Arulogun, Mr. Tunji Bello and Taiwo Adeoluwa respectively.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun said that the declaration was to commemorate the anniversary of June 12 1993 election generally and widely believed to have been won by Late Bashorun MKO Abiola.
Arulogun expressed satisfaction that 25 years after the election adjudged to be the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, the winner of the election, the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola, was recognized by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday, 6th June 2018 conferred this highest national honour on the illustrious son of the state and declared every 12th of June as the country’s Democracy Day.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the posthumous award of the highest honour of the land, the Grand Commander of The Federal Republic, GCFR, on Chief MKO Abiola and the decision to make June 12 as the Democracy Day in recognition and honour of the martyrdom of Chief Abiola and others who fought for the actualization of Democracy in Nigeria.
Arulogun described the politician and business mogul as a symbol of democracy, noting that his strong conviction that the ordinary Nigerian must be freed from the shackles of oppression, poverty, penury and want would forever be appreciated and commended.
He explained that the ideal of the good governance which the late Chief Abiola stood for had always motivated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governments at the Oyo State and the federal level, saying that the dividends of this good governance which is pro-people will forever be remembered in the annals of democracy.
Bello on his part said the significance of June 12, 1993 elections, adjudged as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, would always be a reference point in the State’s quest to entrench true democracy in service to the people.
Commending President Buhari’s recent declaration of June as the new Democracy Day, the Governor said the singular act would forever ensure that Chief MKO Abiola and other martyrs of democracy who laid down their lives in the struggle to entrench good governance did not do so vain.
“On behalf of all Lagosians, we want to commend and applaud Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit finally against all odds from all other past presidents that 25 years after, we are able to now celebrate our own Democracy Day and also declare that the real winner of 1993 June 12 Presidential election was actually our own MKO Abiola.
“No matter how long you try to hide history, history will always reveal itself with a true platform. So, we know that is one very important singular step as we go forward to build an enduring democracy. And for all democrats in this country, we are excited that we are moving in the right direction.
“It also affirms that Nigeria can get it right if we begin to put things in the right perspective and work for the general good of the greater number of people. That is the true essence of democracy.
“For us in Lagos, June 12 is not just a day to remember, it is a rallying point for those of us in service that we must continuously strive to entrench true democracy and good governance which is what Chief MKO Abiola totally exemplified,” Governor Ambode said.
On its part, according to the statement by Secretary to Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, the day would also be used to celebrate the recent conferment of a posthumous national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic on the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola.
It will be recalled that in the last seven years, the Amosun-led administration had consistently declared June 12 work free and commemorated it with various activities.
The statement partly read, “This year will be no exception as befitting events including a Democracy Walk to be led by the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun have been lined up for the celebration.
“The walk scheduled to take off from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta at 7am will take participants through major roads in the state capital to the Abiola’s family house at Oke-Ido, Gbagura where prayers will be offered for the martyr.
“All government functionaries, activists, civil society organisations, democracy volunteers, civil servants, labour/trade unions, students, market women/men and other stakeholders are invited to participate”.
The states maintained that they would continue to celebrate June 12 and Late MKO Abiola.