Chief Lekan Alabi, former Secretary-General, MKO Abiola Dynamic Group, has called for reawakening of June 12 spirit as part of efforts to foster unity and national development.
The Ibadan High Chief made the call during the 2020 Democracy Day and June 12 celebration organised by Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ibadan on Friday.
Alabi said that the late Abiola paid the supreme prize which paved the way for 21 years of unbroken democracy the country had been enjoying till date.
According to him, the June 12 spirit united Nigerians to vote enmasse for MKO Abiola and his running mate, Babagana Kingibe, without emphasis on religion or ethnicity.
Alabi, who is the Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadanland, said that reawakening June 12 spirit would guarantee national unity and a better future for Nigeria.
Also speaking, Dr Alex Anozie, the Eze Ndigbo of Oyo State, described the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election as the worst that has ever happened to Nigeria.
“It was injustice in its totality. If the June 12 election was allowed to stay, the country would not have been divided along religion and ethnic lines.
“Injustice is forcing us to do what we are doing now in Nigeria. Religion and ethnicity have also been used to divide us,” Anozie said.
Alhaji Sufi Kazeem, a nephew to late MKO Abiola, said that June 12 united the entire country going by the voting pattern of the 1993 presidential poll.
“Abiola tried his best by using his wealth and connections worldwide to bring unity to Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Ademola Babalola, Oyo State NUJ Chairman, described Abiola as a detribalised Nigerian who contributed immensely to the Nigerian media industry.
“In 1993, Nigerians voted enmasse for Abiola as president, putting aside tribalism and sentiment.
“The late Abiola was a philanthropist, who touched the lives of many Nigerian citizens,” he said.
Babalola, however, commended President Buhari for immortalising Abiola.
He called for unity among Yoruba leaders and monarchs to enable the Yoruba race regain its pride of place in the nation’s polity.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event featured the presentation of a book entitled “June 12: Lest We Forget,” written by Alabi, who was former chief press secretary to four military governors in Oyo State.
The event was also attended by Alhaji Shehu Ibrahim, the head of Nupe Community in Ibadan, among other dignitaries.
Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)