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On Abiola, Buhari deserves some Accolades

On Abiola, Buhari deserves some Accolades

By Abel Udoekene

A day before June 12, 1993, I was sitting beside my late father listening to his narration of the political situation in the country. As a civil servant and a church leader my father was very passionate about MKO Abiola, though he never met him during the build-up to the election, he was very certain that his victory at the poll would not only prove that Southern Nigeria can achieve anything if they unite but it would open a new chapter in the political history of Nigeria.

We spend up to an hour deliberating on what the victory would mean to Nigeria and Africa and father occasionally interjected the body language of the then head of state Gen Ibrahim Babangida as a cause for concern and worry, according to him “It will be very hard for IBB to let go of power”

When the time came and IBB did the evil pronouncement, my father became numb, he refused to eat for a day and was weeping bitterly for Nigeria and Africa. As event unfold, the Abacha equation became the subject matter and Nigeria witnessed a very long dark era of corruption and human right abuses.

Few days ago when President Muhammadu Buhari made the pronouncement declaring June 12 as democracy day even though the decision may look so political especially as the 2019 presidential election drew near, it is very pertinent that we look away from the political meaning of the declaration and embrace the story of our developing democracy.

When I see comments like president Buhari intends to sway the Yorubas with the pronouncement, I laughed, I think at this point in our political history, we are more enlightened than ever. If indeed that was President Buhari intention which I doubt, he has failed woefully.

The message of June 12, 1993 alone is very clear and audible and we must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for reminding us that we have the power to decide our future. We have the power to remind whoever sits on that seat that Nigeria deserves better, We have the power to choose whether to stick with the current status quo or seek for a better alternative.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan had the same chance to make the “June 12” declaration but failed to utilize the opportunity. Whether the pronouncement was to sway the South West to vote for him in 2019 or not, history has been made, president Buhari deserves some accolades.


Abel Udoekene is the editor of Nigeria Today and can be reached via [email protected] or on Twitter

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