IBADAN—THE Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN-controlled states of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos states have declared today as public holiday in commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential elections as well as in remembrance of the late Basorun Moshood Abiola, the undeclared winner of the election.
They are insisting that June 12 remains their Democracy Day. The states had also lined up activities to mark the day.
In Lagos, the Head of Service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, in a circular, entitled; “Commemoration of June 12, as a work- free day in celebration of democracy,” directed public workers to observe today as a work-free day.
Activists storm Abiola’s residence
Meantime, it was gathered that activists will gather at Abiola’s residence in Ikeja very early this morning to pray for the repose of his soul and also pray for his household to mark the anniversary.
Chairman, Central Organising Committee of June 12 Movement, Mr. Wale Okuniyi, urged democrats and all change-agents across the country to support the movement to honour Abiola today.
Okunniyi said the breakfast event was expected to be attended by senior citizens, political activists, pro-national conference advocates and lovers of democracy from all walks of life.
Activists urge FG to recognise Abiola
It was also gathered that the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, will lay a wreath at Abiola’s house in honour of the sacrifices and martyrdom of Abiola who was allegedly murdered in detention by state agents for standing by the democratic resolve of Nigerians.
At a briefing, a non-government organisation, June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations, June12 CDF, called on the Federal Government to formally recognise Abiola as the winner of the presidential election annulled by the military government as a mark of honour to him.
In a statement by its Chairman, Baba Omojola and Secretary, Nelson Ekujumi, the group said recognising Abiola as an elected president, will “be the only legitimate way to right the wrong done not only to him (Abiola) but also the Nigerian masses who have endured all the agonising misery inflicted by the state since the annulment in 1993. This should be the first genuine step towards honouring this great son of Africa who gave his life for the democracy that we are practising.”
Oyo, Osun honour Abiola
Also, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has declared today as public holiday in the state.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Akin Olajide, said the ACN-led administration recognised the day as Democracy Day.
He said the government also recognised the martyrdom of Abiola, who laid down his life for Nigerians to enjoy the democratic dividends of today.
Similarly, the Osun State chapter of ACN has called on all lovers of democracy in the country to be prepared for the challenges ahead in the struggle to save the nation from the vice grip of the ruling elite at the centre who are making nonsense of the democratic ideals that June 12 represented and for which Abiola made the supreme sacrifice.
In a message in Osogbo, yesterday, ACN Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in the state, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, a lawyer, said June 12 remained the real Democracy Day in the country.
“Therein lies the inevitability that the symbols of democracy will always be the combination of MKO Abiola and June 12. Anything else is a lie and a fraud,” Oyatomi added.