Speaking at the 15th remembrance anniversary of MKO Abiola in Lagos yesterday, they called for the posthumous declaration of the deceased as one of the former Presidents of Nigeria.
Making the call were Chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Real Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu; Convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare; President of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, a renowned poet, Prof. Niyi Osundare and others.
Kanu said that it is saddened that 15 years after the death of Abiola, Nigeria is still worse than it was before the deceased showed interest to contest the June 12 presidential election.
He said: “We are now in a country where nobody is happy. Nobody is happy with the way things are in the country. We need to restructure the country to have Nigeria of our dream. We must all stand up and insist on restructuring of the country.”
Pastor Bakare said MKO Abiola died because of his passion for positive change in Nigeria and his love for the masses.
He said those who killed Abiola will one day give account of how he was killed.
Osundare urged Nigerians to emulate the good legacies left by the late Abiola, especially his passion for the common people.
He said Nigerians must do what is right to make sure that Abiola smiles in his grave.
Afenifere spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said Nigerians must insist to know what happened between Abiola and the international community before his death.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to identify and bring to book the killers of the acclaimed winner of June 12,1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola.
“President Jonathan must do one thing right; he must bring the killers of Abiola to justice. President Jonathan must identify those who killed Abiola and bring them to book,” Fani-Kayode said.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday at the Maiden Bashorun MKO Abiola memorial lecture organised by Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative and Niyi Babade Network, the former minister said the present administration must do everything to establish who killed Abiola.
He said Nigerians should ask the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Susan Rice, who served Abiola the ‘controversial tea’ exactly what happened on July 7, 1998.
His words: “Nigerians must ask questions to establish who killed MKO Abiola. We must know those who are involved in Abiola’s death within and outside of Nigeria. We must insist on who killed MKO Abiola.
“I want to call on everybody to ask General Abdusalami and Susan Rice exactly what happened on July 7, 1998 to Abiola.”
In his address titled: ‘MKO Abiola and the Democratic Struggle’, the Secretary of National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, said that Nigeria must decidedly take appropriate steps to officially pronounce Abiola, the1993 President-Elect, as President and established a major monument in his honour.
He said various events that occurred from the day Abiola’s victory was annulled to the day he was pronounced dead have had many effects on the democratic struggle in Nigeria.
“If June 12 was not annulled, the various national crises of mutual suspicion, discrimination, mistrust, etc. that are summed up as the ‘national question’ may have been substantially eliminated. Those who sold out June 12 for worthless political appointments in Abacha’s government should be remorseful rather than continue to engage in futile attempts at revisionism.
“As a people we must prosecute the political military renegades. This way we prevent future impunity. The Nigeria democratic struggle has to be upgraded to the next level because eternal vigilance and the courage to hold government accountable are the prices we must pay to establish productive government in the Nigeria State.
“The democratic struggle in Nigeria must henceforth be popularised and people-driven so that our country shall never again be captured by military warlords and their civilian collaborators. If we succeed in achieving this democratic ideal, our democracy will survive and Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola will not have died in vain.”
Also speaking, Abiola’s daughter, Mrs. Lola Abiola- Edewor said that her father died honourably. “We thank God for his death because he died for a purpose. My father died honourably. We should remember all his ideal and try to emulate them.” she said.