Abiola’s Daughter: Recognition of June 12 Will Lead to New Nigeria

  • Obasanjo returned to power on Abiola’s blood

Ejiofor Alike

The daughter of the presumed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, Tundun, has stated that the recognition of June 12 by President Muhammadu Buhari will return Nigeria to the time when tribe and religion did not matter.

Speaking Thursday on ARISE Television, the sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, Tundun stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo returned to national leadership in 1999 on Abiola’s blood but failed to acknowledge him as a result of sheer pettiness.

She said she was highly elated and profoundly grateful to President Buhari, adding that it takes real leadership and moral courage to do what is right as Buhari did.

According to her, the recognition of June 12 is very important on many levels.

“When you look at Nigeria today, can you imagine emerging on Muslim-Muslim ticket? It would never work. But in 1993, they won overwhelmingly. So, Nigeria has regressed in the important factor of national unity. We do not perceive each other as Nigerians. We are going, first, to religion, and then, tribe. We have become so divided. So, it is more important now than ever before to remind us of a time when all these distinctions did not matter. We are Nigerians first and foremost and that is most important,” she explained.

She stated that President Buhari’s gesture is a lesson in being appreciated, adding that there is no incentive for public office holders or those aspiring to serve in any way to do it so dutifully when there was such miscarriage of justice like the way June 12 struggle was erased from history.

“What is the incentive to put yourself on the line? What is the incentive to invest when you are not going to be appreciated; when you will be rubbished?“ she asked.

She commended Buhari for reversing the trend.
Reacting to claims that President Buhari honoured her father to earn the support of the South-west in 2019 elections, the younger Abiola stressed that she would not blame anybody for holding such cynical view, adding that Nigerians have become so wary of even a good gesture because there is little to keep people hopeful.

She, however, debunked the claims, saying that many elections have been held since 1999 and they won in the South-west without honouring her father.

She added that while the recognition of June 12 has served justice for the June 12 struggle, justice is yet to be served for the murder of Abiola.

She also recalled that her step mother, Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, was also brutally murdered.

“There are two different factors. If an election is annulled, he did not have to be killed. So, Justice has not been served for his murder because we don’t know – nobody has been held accountable and found guilty for the murder of this human being whose life was lost. So, Justice has not been served at all,” she explained.

She disclosed that President Obasanjo returned to national leadership in 1999 on the blood of Abiola but failed to acknowledge him as a result of pettiness.

According to her, the situation between Abiola and Obasanjo was like Macbeth and the Ghost of Banquo.
“Macbeth tried to deny and suppress but the ghosts will not leave him alone, which is why in his (Obasanjo) life time, President Buhari has done what he ought to have done,” she said.

She also stated that the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan did not honour Abiola because they did not want to offend Obasanjo, who helped them ascend to power.

She also applauded the efforts by the Senate to have the results of June 12, 1993 elections announced, adding that she would not like her father to be referred to as the ‘presumed’ winner of the election any longer.