Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu says to keep the memory of Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, presumed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election alive, Nigeria must embrace the virtues and beliefs he (Abiola) stood for.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, stated this Wednesday, on the occasion of the 2019 Democracy Day, in honour of Abiola who died in detention in July 1998 while still struggling to reclaim his presidential mandate.
The event, organised by the Lagos State government, held at the LTV premises, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had shifted Nigeria’s Democracy Day from May 29, to June 12, in honour of the memory of Abiola and the presidential election annulment.
Earlier in the day, Hamzat had laid a wreath at Abiola’s grave at his (Abiola’s) house,on Toyin Street, off Allen, Ikeja.
According to the governor, making Nigeria a better country, which was the wish of Abiola required the collective effort of both the government and the people. “Today is about the wish, legacy and the good that MKO Abiola had done. And may the wish of MKO continue to be in our memories. If we all as a people in our different lanes and capacities do the right thing, Nigeria
will be great. That is what we owe Abiola.”
The governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, adding that the Lagos State government would always uphold the ideals of June 12 by ensuring the expansion of the frontiers of democratic governance and social justice.
Pat Utomi, a professor of political economics, who delivered a lecture, “Hope 93: democratic prosperity and political stability”, urged the ruling class to work to create wealth to avert anarchy in the country. “We need to reflect if we are where we are supposed to be as a people. Does our democracy work for us as a people?”
He said there were many challenges confronting the country, like unemployment, which the political office holders must address. “If we are to do the memory of MKO any good, we must build economic justice, ensure peace, stability and prosperity for all,” Utomi said.
Bisi Abiola, wife of the late MKO Abiola, thanked the Lagos State government and civil society organisations for keeping hope alive.