As the nation marked the anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election yesterday, the family of late winner, Chief MKO Abiola, yesterday accused the Federal Government of neglect.
The family said that since the declaration by the Federal Government of June 12 as the country’s democracy day, it has not received any favours from the government.
The Secretary of the family, Rahaman Abiola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists when a delegation of the Ogun State government, led by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, visited the Abeokuta family house of Abiola to celebrate the June 12 democracy day.
Abiola was declared winner of the June 12 election, which was adjudged the freest and fairest election in the history of the country. President Mohammadu Buhari had last year moved the country’s Democracy Day celebration from May 29 to June 12 to honour Abiola, the hero of Nigeria’s democracy.
But, Rahaman Abiola declared that the since the declaration by Buhari, the family is yet to benefit anything from the Federal Government. The Secretary, who lamented the death of Abiola, the breadwinner of the family, said the Federal Government has failed to fulfill all the promises made to the family.
He commended the Federal Government for honouring Abiola with the award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and for declaring June 12 as Nigeria Democracy day. Rahaman Abiola said: “We are happy indeed that President Muhammadu Buhari deemed it fit to honour Abiola by giving him the GCFR and made June 12 official Democracy Day. Kudos to that. “So far so good. We have not benefitted anything from the Federal Government.
“Ogun State Government, right from Chief Olusegun Osoba to Governor Gbenga Daniel, to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, and now to Governor Dapo Abiodun, they always honour MKO Abiola every June 12. “Ogun State Government will always come with all the machineries to make the day happening and to recognise that this man was born in this area and this is his hometown.
“Our breadwinner has gone. Promises from the Federal Government, we have not seen it yet. On June 12, the state government is trying its best. I give kudos to them on June 12. Governor comes here always to pay solidarity to the house and empower us to make sure June 12 is celebrated all the time.”
Meanwhile, Abiodun has called on those calling for the disintegration of Nigeria to shelve the idea and embrace unity in the spirit of June 12.
The governor, who stated this at an event organised by the state government to mark the celebration of democracy day, said: “MKO Abiola and his mandate should serve as a reminder to all of us that we are stronger together as a nation.
“He (Abiola) broke all barriers such as religion and ethnicity that are being used in Nigeria today to divide us. He won across the length and breadth of this country, even at the backyard of his main opponent. It was a phenomenon that should remind us that we are greater than our challenges.
“Unless and until we embrace the essence of the MKO persona, internalize belief in self, faith in a united country and other initiatives that help to engender a sense of shared heritage amongst Nigerian people, we will continue to be a country in search of Nationhood.
“Let us push all the negative and divisive forces and policies on the back-foot and embrace the symbolism of June 12. Let us join hands to make Nigeria work for all Nigerians.
“This will end all quest for self-determination and other sectarian agitations and calm frayed nerves. June 12 represents what will strengthen the country’s unity, indivisibility and oneness.”