President Bola Tinubu has paid tribute to Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which was annulled by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.
Abiola was arrested by the late military dictator, General Sanni Abacha, following his unrelenting struggle to reclaim his mandate. Abiola later died in detention during the regime Genral Abdulsalami Abubakar.
In his Democracy Day national broadcast to mark the 30th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, President Tinubu said: “For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal.”
He said, “the democracy MKO Abiola died for is one that promotes the welfare of the people over personal interests of the ruling class and one where the governed can find personal fulfillment and happiness. That is the hope MKO Abiola ignited throughout our country in 1993.”
President Tinubu said: “The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices. It means social and economic justice for our people. To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.”