Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Again, Abiola Speaks So Loud From The Grave

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Nigeria News takes a look at the June 12 Democracy Day and the renaming of National Stadium, Abuja after late Chief MKO Abiola.

Renaming the National Stadium, Abuja after the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola was the least I ever expected from President Muhammadu Buhari.

A few days ago, the President signed into law the bill, changing the Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12. Of course, June 12 is synonymous with Abiola whom before today was decorated posthumously with the highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

An honour reserved for president and a few great men like Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The sage never won a presidential election but earned GCFR.

Three presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Umoru Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan that preceded Buhari did not deem it fit to honour the man whose blood they stepped on to become Nigeria number one.

Even when the son of the late politician, Kola Abiola approached them to recognise his father as the authentic winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, the former presidents took the request as one of the collections of garbage.

As Kola Abiola put it, “I visited President Muhammadu Buhari when he was elected and tabled the same request. He granted all and surprisingly he put the icing on the cake by renaming the National Stadium Abuja after Chief MKO Abiola.”

The crowd echoed at the Eagle Square, Abuja on June 12, the inaugural day of democracy in Nigeria when Buhari renamed the National Stadium after MKO.

After the echoes had reverberated, MKO spoke louder again from the grave to rekindle democracy and silence the selfish voices of past leaders who failed to engrave his name in the political frame of Nigeria.

To Hafsat, the daughter of MKO, the family of the late business mogul, President Buhari had done beyond her expectation. “What we only requested was recognising our father as the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election but Buhari went further on behalf of Nigerians to apologise to our family. We can only tender our apology too that the president should forgive our father in whatever way he had offended him while he was alive.”

Abiola cut across many sectors. He invested in oil, aviation, education, telecommunications and sports. He was named the “African Pillar of Sports.”

So it was not a mistake that the National Stadium, Abuja was named after him. The reality here is that this Buhari’s gesture is not politically motivated.

Unlike Jonathan who tried to rename the University of Lagos after MKO but was rebuked with students protested against it.

The grouse of the students then was that MKO and by extension June 12 was a national issue and should not be sectionalized as Jonathan wished to do it then.

Yes, some may say that renaming National Stadium after Abiola is political, I agree because everything about the late politician is political.

He was not only into business, Abiola’s life radiated politics, culture and religion. That was what made him great while he lived and greater even in his grave.

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