Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on politicians and political office holders to make the supreme price paid by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola in entrenching democracy in Nigeria count.
He equally charged them not to lose sight of the significance of June 12 in order to ensure the survival of democracy and delivery of good governance to Nigerians.
Abiodun made the call, yesterday, in his address during an anniversary to commemorate the Democracy Day, with the themed: “Democracy Beyond Abiola and June 12,” at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta.
Represented by his deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, the governor said ideals the late Abiola stood for must be upheld so that good governance targeted for the benefit of the citizens continue to yield positive results at all levels.
“We are determined to entrench good governance which will further enhance the quality of life of our people. Just as Abiola was neither a sectional leader nor biased in his dealings with everyone he came across, we vow to enthrone transparency in our efforts at taking Ogun State to the height as envisioned by our forebears,” Abiodun said.
The governor, therefore, enjoined citizens to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the nation and to remain united and patriotic.
House of Assembly Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, noted that June 12 struggle was not in vain, charging all politicians to come together to erase poverty in the country.
Also, one of Abiola sons, Mumuni, said June 12 marked the freest election Nigeria ever had, eulogising his father’s struggles as “a fight that was worthwhile.”
Meanwhile, former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, said the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari indirectly recognised Abiola as a past president of Nigeria.
Osoba, who spoke in Abuja, yesterday, said the day was significant as past presidents, from 1999, had refused to recognise the day or Abiola’s sacrifices for Nigeria’s democracy.
“I have a lot of very bad memories about June 12, as a lot of people lost their lives for the struggle, a lot of families also suffered incurable damages, also a lot of people sold their property to survive.
“I also suffered in the hands of Sergeant Rogers, who made two attempts to kill me and I was in hiding for almost a year, along with others who paid the price.
“One of my own benefitted from Abiola sacrifice to become president, but here is Buhari who indirectly accepted that Abiola was once past president of this country, so those sacrifices that we also suffered are no more in vain,” Osoba said.