President of Women Arise and Centre for Change, Joe Okei-odumakin, has called for the posthumous recognition of MKO Abiola as President of Nigeria.
Odumakin who made the call in a statement to commemorate Democracy day said Abiola’s portrait should be displayed amongst those of past Nigerian presidents and heads of State.
The statement read: “June 12, 2009 marks the twenty-seventh anniversary of the brazen annulment of a presidential election adjudged both nationally and internationally as the freest, fairest and most peaceful ever held in Nigeria.
“Through an election that saw a Muslim-Muslim ticket, depicted by the emergence of the late Chief MKO Abiola and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe of the now-rested Social Democratic Party, SDP, against Alhaji Bashir Tofa and Dr. Sylvester Ugoh of the National Republican Convention, NRC, Nigerians were prepared to say ‘enough is enough’ to military dictatorship and not only made known but also made good their promise with their votes on June 12, 1993.
“But, the military regime, then led by General Ibrahim Babangida, on June 23, 1993 shamelessly annulled the people’s mandate.
The decision to declare June 12 Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari is acceptable because we had asked for the declaration 27 years ago.
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“The Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) award given in recognition of MKO Abiola was also long overdue but a right step in the right direction.
“Therefore, as we celebrate the heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s democracy; and as Nigeria marks yet another landmark in the history of her democratic watershed, Women Arise and Centre for Change enjoin Nigerians to continue to insist on the following demands:
“i. The official authentication and validation of the June 12, 1993 election results as belatedly declared by the then electoral boss, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu.
“ii. The posthumous recognition of Abiola as President of Nigeria and for his portrait to be displayed amongst those of past Nigerian presidents and heads of State.
“iii. A judicial commission of enquiry to unravel how the high treason of his murder was carried out while MKO was in the custody of the Federal Government
“iv. Restructuring of Nigeria
We therefore call on Nigerians, irrespective of creed, race, religious inclination or affiliation, to re-dedicate themselves to the struggle for genuine democracy epitomised by credible elections. Entrenching the true spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections, is the best way to immortalize MKO.
“In conclusion, we salute the memory of President MKO Abiola, the truly elected president of Nigeria, whose election was clean, free and fair as adjudged by local and international observers.”