The Lagos State Government on Saturday, June 9, 2018, declared June 12, 2018, as a public holiday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annulled 1993 presidential election adjudged to be have won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, MKO, Abiola.
Akinwunmi Ambode, the state governor, in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the significance of June 12, 1993 elections, adjudged as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, would always be a reference point in the State’s quest to entrench true democracy in service to the people.
Commending President Buhari’s recent declaration of June as the new Democracy Day, the governor said the singular act would forever ensure that Chief MKO Abiola and other martyrs of democracy who laid down their lives in the struggle to entrench good governance did not do so vain.
“On behalf of all Lagosians, we want to commend and applaud Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit finally against all odds from all other past presidents that 25 years after, we are able to now celebrate our own Democracy Day and also declare that the real winner of 1993 June 12, 1993, Presidential election was actually our own MKO Abiola.
“No matter how long you try to hide history, history will always reveal itself with a true platform. So, we know that is one very important singular step as we go forward to build an enduring democracy. And for all democrats in this country, we are excited that we are moving in the right direction.
“It also affirms that Nigeria can get it right if we begin to put things in the right perspective and work for the general good of the greater number of people. That is the true essence of democracy.
“For us in Lagos, June 12 is not just a day to remember, it is a rallying point for those of us in service that we must continuously strive to entrench true democracy and good governance which is what Chief MKO Abiola totally exemplified,” Ambode said.
In a similar vein, Ogun State government has also declared Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, work-free to enable residents and other stakeholders mark the Democracy Day.
A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa on Saturday, said the day would also be used to celebrate the recent conferment of a posthumous national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic on the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, Presidential election, Chief Abiola.
According to the statement, Ogun had been marking democracy day on June 12 in he last seven years, saying that this year would be no exception as befitting events, including a Democracy Walk to be led by the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun have been lined up for the celebration.
“The walk scheduled to take off from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta at 7am will take participants through major roads in the state capital to the Abiola’s family house at Oke-Ido, Gbagura where prayers will be offered for the martyr,” it said.
The statement added that all government functionaries, activists, civil society organisations, democracy volunteers, civil servants, labour/trade unions, students, market women/men and other stakeholders were invited to participate.