The Ondo State Government on Monday renamed the stateâ€™s Democracy Park located in the heart of the state capital, Akure, Chief MKO Abiola Democracy Park in honour of the late business mogul who was presumed to have won the June 12 1993 presidential election.
The state Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), made the pronouncement yesterday while speaking a lecture organised to commemorate the 24th year of the presidential election that was annulled by the military President, Ibrahim Babangida.
The Democracy Park built by the immediate past administration of Dr Olusegun Mimiko had hosted major political events held in the state capital.
Akeredolu said the renaming of the park was the list that the state can do immortalise a man whose sacrifice bequeathed the current democratic order to the nation.
He said the significance of June 12 cannot be wished away because that was the day that Nigerians from all walks of life and in all parts of the country spoke with one voice irrespective of tribal, religious and ethnic differences.
The guest speaker at the lecture, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said June 12 celebration would soon become a national Â event that would necessitate national holiday.
He said only two states declared holiday for May Day when the celebration started in Nigeria but today it has become a national public holiday when many people realised the importance of the day.
Falana, who mentioned some of those that struggled to ensure that June 12 mandate was realised, said Akeredolu could not have done less because he led the struggle at Ibadan, Oyo State end.
In his opening address, the Chairman of the event, Mr. Wale Osun said if the federal government refused to immortalise Abiola, the Akeredolu should liaise with other South-west governors and build monument in honour of the martyr of democracy.
Osun said the governors should not bother even if any person or group of persons described their action as localised.
Faparusi: Annulment of MKOâ€™s Victory RuinedÂ Nigeriaâ€™s Democratic Strength
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Hon Bamidele Faparusi, has declared that the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election supposedly won by Chief MKO Abiola derailed the countryâ€™s programmes toward making Nigeria a strong democratic nation.
Â Faparusi said the country would have been strong politically with all institutions working as stipulated by laws, if the military regime of Gen Ibrahim Babangida had allowed Abiolaâ€™sÂ victory to subsist as expressed by Nigerians in the poll.
Faparusi disclosed that the Nigeriaâ€™s democracy cannot be said to be infallible, adding thatÂ the country could have developed better, and would haveÂ by now gained global recognition if theÂ election was not annulled.
He said this in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday to commemorate the celebration of June 12, 1993, presidential poll.