Late MKO Abiola
This day, June 12 will always be remembered by those who have defied the culture of silence and conspiracy against a significant moment in Nigerian history, to remind us of how today, 23 years ago, the battle against the exit of the military from power was fought at the ballot by a determined Nigerian people. It is indeed sad that apart from the South West states of Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Osun which have doggedly continued to celebrate the hero, and later martyr of that battle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, there has been studied indifference to the June 12 phenomenon by the Federal Government and remarkably, the rest of Nigeria.
This is sadder still because MKO 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. His campaign manifesto was instructively titled “Hope 93- Farewell to Poverty: How to make Nigeria a better place for all.”
When Nigerians voted in the presidential election of June 12, 1993, they chose the Muslim-Muslim ticket of MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). MKO Abiola not only defeated the Presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa in his home state of Kano, he also defeated him “fairly and squarely” with “58.4% of the popular vote and a majority in 20 out of 30 states and the FCT.” That election was adjudged to be free and fair, and peaceful. But the Ibrahim Babangida-led military government had been playing games with the transition-to-civilian rule, and so it chose not to announce the final results of the election, and later on June 23, 1993, the Presidential election was annulled.
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Source:: PM Newspaper