JUNE 12: The Ghost That Refuses To Be Exorcised By Clifford Ndujihe

WOULD the socio-economic and political fortunes of Nigeria have been better if late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, had been allowed to assume power?Late MKO Abiola

Answers to this question are diverse and perhaps academic but a host of pro-democracy activists and leaders believe that if Abiola had been allowed to implement his 10-point ‘’Farewell to poverty’’ programme, the country will not be swimming in avalanche of problems that are at the verge of dismembering her.

Although, the South-West, Abiola’s geo-political zone, has been allowed to produce the president (through Chief Olusegun Obasanjo also from Ogun State as Abiola) for eight years, some stakeholders insist that the ghost of June 12 has not been exorcised because our leaders are yet to banish poverty and ensure an egalitarian society where equity and justice will reign.

It is therefore not surprising that a host of leaders will gather today at the late business mogul’s Ikeja, Lagos home to commemorate June 12 as they have been doing since 1994.

Indeed, the 24th anniversary of the event being organised by the June 12 Democracy Movement is themed: ‘’June 12 and The Hope of Equitable Restructuring for Nigeria.’’

Already, most of the South-West states have declared today as a work-free day to enable their citizenry mark the event. States that have declared holidays include Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ondo.

Expected at Abiola’s house, today, for the June 12 anniversary are Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who will chair the ceremony; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the keynote speaker; and Professor Wole Soyinka, the father of the day.

Chairman of the organising committee, Mr Olukayode Salako, said the historic programme will start at 8am and end at 12 noon and a panel of selected eminent Nigerians from across the six geopolitical zones of the country will pay tributes and engage the gathering in a sober reflections on the state of Nigeria’s democracy.

‘’If there is anything which has changed our country for the better today, it is the resolve of some Nigerians to make sacrifices or even die for democratic governance for Nigeria.

MKO Abiola was one of these heroic Nigerians, who paid the supreme price with his life for us all to attain the present civil rule in Nigeria,” he said.