The National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, has taken a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over what it describes as his failure to honour the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential elections, Chief MKO Abiola.
NADECO’s general secretary and spokesperson, Ayo Opadokun, on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 expressed worry over the inability of the former president to recognise the election mandate of Abiola, believed by many to have emerged winner in the polls, adjudged to be free and fair.
“President Olusegun Obasanjo who the military foisted on Nigeria for 8years ignored all appeals to close the chapter of military’s disrespect to the popular will of the Nigerian people as expressed on June 12, 1993 which results have been officially announced at all the wards, LGAs, and state levels of collations confirming Abiola’s victory,” Opadokun said in a statement.
The comments by the group come 25 years after former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the 1993 elections, an action that sparked protests in parts of the country, following the inability to recognised the late Chief Abiola as President-Elect.
NADECO, known to have been spearheading the movement for the restoration of the election mandate of the late politician, business mogul and philanthropist, also expressed worry that Obasanjo being a beneficiary of Abiola’s martyrdom ought to have recognised him.
“General Obasanjo in reaction to the popular rejection of the General Ibrahim Babangida’s annulment of the Abiola’s victory said that MKO Abiola was not the messiah Nigerian people needed,” Opadokun stated further.
Opadokun also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for formally recognizing Chief Abiola by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day celebrations in Nigeria to replace May 29.
To NADECO, President was bold enough in his declaration speech despite criticisms from some Nigerians, especially the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On June 6, President Buhari conferred a posthumous GCFR title on the presumed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Moshood Abiola.
According to Buhari, his decision to change the Democracy Day celebration is because June 12 is a more symbolic day.
He stated: “We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to Chief MKO Abiola.
“In the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12, 1993, was and is far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even October 1.”