The governments of the South-west states have during the weekend declared June 12 as a public holiday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annulled 1993 Presidential election adjudged to have been won by the late M.K.O Abiola.
The states include Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, and Oyo states.
The Lagos State Government on Saturday declared June 12, 2018 as public holiday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annulled 1993 Presidential elections adjudged to be have won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO)Abiola.
The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode 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 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,” Governor Ambode said.
Similarly, the Ogun State Government has declared June 12 a work-free day to enable residents of the state mark the Democracy Day and celebrate the recent conferment of a posthumous national honour on the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola.
The announcement was made in a statement issued at the weekend by the secretary to the state government, Taiwo Adeoluwa,
In the statement, Adeoluwa added that a befitting event, including a Democracy Walk to be led by the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, have been lined up for the celebration.
He said the walk is scheduled to take off from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta at 7am with participants going through major roads in the state capital to Abiola’s family house at Oke-Ido, Gbagura, where prayers will be offered for the martyr.
“It will be recalled that in the last seven years, the Amosun-led administration had consistently declared JUNE 12 work free and commemorated it with varied activities. This year will 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.
“All Government functionaries, activists, civil society organizations, democracy volunteers, civil servants, labour/trade unions, students, market women/men and other stakeholders are invited to participate,” the statement highlighted.
In the same vein, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, at the weekend, pronounced Tuesday a “work-free day” for the workforce in the state civil service.
Akeredolu said the decision was to celebrate late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
The Governor explained that the day (Tuesday June 12, 2018) would be celebrated with a town hall meeting at the DOME event centre, Akure.
He also added that the focus of the programme would be ‘June 12: ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.
“All civil servants, market women, artisans, politicians, clergymen, students and Ondo State residents from all walks of life are invited to be part of the historic gathering in honour of M.K.O Abiola, winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election”, Akeredolu said through an electronic statement signed by his spokesman, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi.
The Nigerian government had on June 6, conferred the highest national honours of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR), on the illustrious son of the state and declared June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day.