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Posts tagged ‘Abiola’

A National Insult Rejected By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

For those unaware of its source, I might as well state from the outset that the title of this column is not original. It’s adapted from a statement released last week by Wole Soyinka. The statement, which bore the Nobel laureate’s stamp of revulsion at moral impunity, chastised the Goodluck Jonathan administration for its bizarre line-up of 100 personalities worthy of honor at a ceremony marking the centenary of Nigeria’s amalgamation.

The centenary list, typical of such rolls in Nigeria, was a hodgepodge. It bracketed imperial personages, so-called “contributors to the making of Nigeria”—including Queen Elizabeth 11 of England and Lord Frederick Lugard, first British overseer of the forcibly amalgamated territory—with such notable nationalist fighters as Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Anthony Enahoro. It squeezed Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Michael Imoudu, Aminu Kano, Kenneth Onwuka Dike, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, John Pepper Clark, Chike Obi, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Dagogo Fubara, and Moshood Kashimawo Abiola into the same tent as Sani Abacha. In an even weirder development, Mr. Abacha shows up—along with Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida—under the category of “Outstanding Promoters of Unity, Patriotism and National Development”.

How did we quickly forget that Abacha’s looting of public funds from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria was a patriotic act? Or that he gave his cronies licenses to import toxic fuel into Nigeria because he so fiercely loved Nigerians and fervently desired their development? Or that Babangida’s annulment of the June 12 presidential election was a recipe for Nigeria’s unity?

Anybody who only followed the Aso Rock version of the centenary could have run away with the impression that Nigerians are ever grateful to the coalition of British merchants, bureaucrats, adventurers and royals who cobbled their country together—and named it Nigeria. But the deeper truth lies elsewhere. There were two sets of memory at play last week, two attitudes to Nigeria—a so-called nation bereft of a national spirit, a space that is unformed, ill-formed and malformed.

Those who preside today over the looting of billions of dollars of Nigeria’s resources may deceive themselves that the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of Nigeria is an occasion for celebration. Many—I’d argue, most—Nigerians think otherwise. For several months, the Internet was abuzz with speculations that the legal instruments of amalgamation stipulated one hundred years as the event’s expiry date. With a great sense of expectancy, many looked forward to the formal cessation of the tragic, nightmarish, and blood-soaked experiment called Nigeria. Was the Jonathan administration unaware of this swell of hope that Nigeria should cease?

In the build-up to the centenary, the band of Islamist extremists known as Boko Haram carried out one of their most savage and outrageous attacks yet. They stormed a secondary school in Yobe under the cover of darkness, slaughtered 60 boys, and set their victims’ dorms on fire. In any serious country, one such act would forever scar the collective conscience, provoking a resolve of “Never again!” Not in Nigeria, a place where a human life is worth far less than a chicken. How did Nigeria’s “transformational” leadership respond to this latest callousness by Boko Haram? It responded in its accustomed soft, indifferent manner. It issued the same tiresome, obligatory condemnation of the carnage, nothing more. The Presidency did not consider the shocking abbreviation of so many innocent lives an occasion to devise and announce a bold, effective plan to assure the safety of all citizens, especially school children, in the Boko Haram-plagued, terror-infested areas. It was, as usual, a do-nothing stance.

But then the government did something even worse than habitual abdication. Apparently, Reno Omokri, Mr. Jonathan’s point man on social media, orchestrated a release that sought to link Nigeria’s suspended Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, with a spike in Boko Haram’s gruesome activities, including the Yobe slaughter. Apparently Mr. Omokri did not reckon with the fact that many Nigerians are quite adept at cyber intelligence, deft at the kind of detective work that can unmask those who exploit the seeming anonymity of the Internet to slander others. Mr. Sanusi is the Jonathan administration’s Public Enemy Number One. The sacked CBN Governor committed the unpardonable sin of telling the world that a major agency of the Nigerian state had failed to deposit $20 billion earned from crude oil exports. In response, the government accused Mr. Sanusi of squandering the funds of the bank he ran, awarding contracts without following requisite laws, and dispensing Nigeria’s funds as if they were his private treasury.

If Mr. Sanusi committed these crimes, I’d like to see him prosecuted, convicted and punished. I’d also like to see the administration account fully for the funds that Mr. Sanusi alleged to be missing. Here’s what the government doesn’t have a right to do: sending Mr. Omokri, its cyber warrior-in-chief, to concoct and disseminate horrific lies against Mr. Sanusi or any Nigerian. Unless Mr. Omokri can demonstrate that he did not mastermind the craven forgery, he ought to resign immediately. Or be fired.

It’s tragic that the Nigerian government, from the president to his aides, continues to fiddle while the country burns. It’s shameful that President Jonathan and Nigerian legislators prioritize a phantom war—going after gays—when the country is besieged by mindless, well-armed zealots who see unarmed Nigerians, including children, as fair game. How does the targeting of gays solve Nigeria’s infrastructural problems? Are gays the reason elections are massively rigged in Nigeria; public funds looted with depraved greed; our educational system a shambles; our healthcare system ghastly?

Nigeria fought a civil war that claimed anything from one to three million lives. It was a war to defend a British-made idea, to uphold the sanctity of a space wrought by British imperial fiat. The mantra was: To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done. To their credit, the British had an excellent reason for keeping Nigeria one. Nigeria was their largest holding in Africa (and their second largest anywhere, after India). It was a prodigious source of raw materials for British firms as well as a huge dumping ground for British-made goods. It made sound sense, from the British point of view, to keep Nigeria one.

As British rule ended, the Nigerian elite who inherited the spoils of the state adopted as an article of faith the idea that Nigeria must remain one entity. But they shied away from asking the hard questions. What’s so sacred about Nigeria? Why should we remain one? What ends are served by remaining one? What does Nigeria represent? And—if unity was not negotiable—then what must be the irreducible terms of our engagement?

I’ve argued before that a central part of Nigeria’s tragedy arises from the fact that the country fought a costly war, but has never permitted the lessons of that war to inform its conduct, to shape its ethos. It’s as if we went to war to defend the right of a few to continue to plunder, to continue to feed fat at the expense of the rest of us, to perpetually rig themselves into power, and to add their contemptible names to every roll of honor, even though they refrain from doing anything that is remotely honorable.

As Mr. Jonathan feted the so-called giants of Nigeria’s centenary, a different, oppositional narrative played itself out. The collective memory of the vast majority of Nigerians beheld Nigeria, not as a splendid monument, but as a sordid, wretched edifice. They saw what Mr. Jonathan and his ilk refuse to see: that the Nigerian state is a provocation, a moral affront, a failed, misery-dispensing state.

Soyinka captured part of the spirit of that deep split in the way Nigeria is regarded. He acted bravely by excusing himself from the insouciant official ritual that amounted to an insult to the outraged sensibilities of the majority of Nigerians. In a statement of renunciation titled “Canonization of Terror,” Mr. Soyinka called attention to the wasted lives of the students in Yobe. He drew our attention to “the entire ethical landscape into which this nation has been forced by insensate leadership.” He would not succumb to the summons to collective amnesia, the only condition under which an ogre like Sani Abacha would be invited to arise, ghost-like, to accept national veneration as a patriotic champion of Nigerian “unity and national development.” Stated Mr. Soyinka: “Under that ruler, torture and other forms of barbarism were enthroned as the norm of governance. To round up, nine Nigerian citizens, including the writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, were hanged after a trial that was stomach churning even by the most primitive standards of judicial trial, and in defiance of the intervention of world leadership.”

In the end, Soyinka spoke for me—and I suggest, for many other enlightened people—when he stated, “I reject my share of this national insult.”

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

 

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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Doyin Abiola, Former Concord Newspapers Boss, Arrested For Fraud.


Doyin Abiola
By SaharaReporters, New York

Former Managing Director of the defunct Concord Newspapers, Dr. Doyin Abiola has been arraigned before the Federal High Court, Lagos, for fraud.

A statement signed by Police Public Relations Officer DSP Ngozi Isintume-Agu said that the Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit (FMIU) of Special Fraud Unit (SFU) said that between 2006 and 2008, as a Director of the Integrated Microfinance Bank, Dr. Abiola granted to herself without collateral and approval from the Management, the sum of N26,611,246.48.

Dr. Abiola, of 42/46 Moshood Abiola Crescent, Ikeja, Lagos, and wife of the late Chief Moshood Abiola, is one of four Managing Directors or Directors of Integrated Microfinance Bank (IMFB) located at 6A Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, who were arrested and charged by the SFU.

The others are Akinteye Simon Ademola, Dr. Jerry Orimovuohoma and Oladapo Bello.

The SFU said the four officials of IMFB unauthorized credit facilities to the tune of N327,566,000 to themselves and other related companies without collateral and that the loans are still outstanding.  In the forensic investigation conducted by FMIU of SFU, the Directors were found wanting in the discharge of their duties while on the Board of Integrated Microfinance Bank (IMFB).

· Ademola of Plot 7, block 90, Mobolaji Ogunde Crescent, Magodo GRA Phase 2, Lagos converted the sum of N131.176 million to his personal use without approval.

· Orimovuohoma of 129B Oba Ladejobi Street, GRA, Ikeja granted unauthorized credit facility to the tune of N29,200,000.00 to himself without collateral.

· Bello of 23/25 Ijora Causeway, Ijora, Lagos recklessly granted the sum of N3,200,000.00 to himself without collateral.

“The bank liquidity was greatly affected with the sum the directors took,” the statement said.    The case comes up at the Federal High Court on December 10.

M.K.O Abiola and The Philanthropy Dearth By M.B.O Owolowo.


By M.B.O Owolowo

Philanthropy can be defined as the altruistic concern for human beings, as manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons or to institutions advancing human welfare.

Based on the above definition of philanthropy, how many notable philanthropists can we easily identify in our milieu? From my early days till when I became an adult the name of M.K.O Abiola would easily have been mentioned, his name was synonymous with philanthropy for many years. Though he was wealthy he was not the wealthiest, he stood out because of his philanthropic activities, an unparalleled generosity.

Recently, we were informed of having at least 400 private jets in the country, a country where the airline industry isn’t up to scratch and our airports aren’t exactly world class. On a poignant note, some of us are still grieving from the loss of loved ones, one year after the ill-fated Dana air crash. The fact that most of the victims’ families haven’t been duly compensated or the airline carrying on with business as usual is another vexatious matter entirely.

By any standard the country is filled with wealthy people, but how does that benefit the country as a whole?
I have often asked myself why many amongst us celebrate fellow Nigerians who made the rich list, like it drives economic growth? Why with all our so called millionaires (or billionaire) on Forbes, we still have to wait for a foreigner like Bill Gates to assist us with the eradication of a deadly disease like Malaria?

Why do some of us need to praise those who have stolen our funds and plundered our resources for the flimsiest of reasons, like they are doing us a favour. These ‘privileged’ few should be generous because it is the human thing to do, and not because of praise singers or some chieftaincy title.

Charity begins at home, for how long would our ‘big men’ continue to enrich other economies? I have visited various countries and once I mention Nigeria, I am duly informed about edifices, businesses and investments owned by my fellow Nigerians. Then I begin to wonder if it is a curse to invest these monies, even if illegally acquired, in our country?
This country is blessed and has made some very wealthy people, so why not give back? Of what economic use or benefit is it to our immediate environment, when our funds are stashed in foreign lands, benefiting host nations?
A society surrounded with wealthy individuals who lack the capacity to give is cancerous to any social system. A country filled will selfishness across all strata is self detrimental.

Imagine if most of these so called ‘big men’ were philanthropic as Abiola was for example, the impact on society would be enormous. All strata of society would feel safer because jobs would be created. The current unemployment rate is scarily high, with about three quarters of the population not gainfully employed- a depressing statistic.

The extremely opulent can start by collectively empowering at least 100 people each; these 100 go on to empower at least 500 people each. Then those 500 empower at least 1000 each, and the chain continues- the multiplier effect of such an initiative on the economy would be tremendous.

Some of the ‘disillusioned’ few must understand empowerment isn’t about giving handouts or stipends, neither is it building some boreholes or patching up some potholes.

Empowerment isn’t having carnal knowledge of young girls at will, and ruining their lives till they can’t differentiate between fiction and reality. Then we wonder why many young men don’t have the means of getting married, and those with the means are afraid of falling into the hands of the remnants of these “big men”, a vicious social cycle, and another lamentable topic entirely.

Government seems to be a convenient way to ill-gotten wealth nowadays, but, do those in these positions of authority care about the welfare of the masses or are they ready to sacrifice their exorbitant wages and allowances for the benefit of all? It would be encouraging to hear those in the House of Assembly move a motion to dedicate a certain percentage from their income for a worthy societal cause, or the presidency takes the initiative of curbing some financial excesses for the benefit of the economy.

Earlier in the year we read about how Malawi’s President, Joyce Banda took the initiative of selling off the jet purchased by her predecessor to raise funds for the flailing economy, she cut her salary by 30% and further pledged to sell 35 Mercedes Benz cars used by her cabinet as part of her austerity measures.

For politicians in general, ask yourselves what charitable causes you are actively involved with regularly, and not hasty donations done during elections. Nobody is perfect and no one is a saint, all that is required is some commitment.
M.K.O Abiola’s critics say he wasn’t a saint and I wonder if there are any saints in our polity, or any saints actively involved in politics- I often say, if you can show me a saint in politics, then I will show you a talking mannequin from Mars. Despite M.K.O’s flaws, which we all have, our so called big shots should learn from his philanthropic gestures.

I remember witnessing the lamentations of some fellow citizens who were irked by the behaviour of a very prominent politician from the South West. They said he came into the living area where everyone was seated, lambasted everyone, and said he wasn’t there because of them, that he doesn’t want to see anyone and they should all leave. One of those narrating says, “But he asked us to come”. He further said they left angrily, one of them felt really insulted because he was a self made millionaire, he said “did we come to beg for money”
The other discussant states, “that’s his assumption, even if we did, why should he address human beings like that”
And his friend replied, “He is only pretending to be philanthropic for political purposes, it’s not natural like M.K.O Abiola, you can’t fake generosity”
They ended their conversation with one of them saying in pidgin English, “Na him wan be Abiola by force”, and the other replied “Nobody like M.K.O”
There are many more of such selfish and arrogant individuals across all our geo-political zones.
Evidently with M.K.O died many things, including genuine philanthropy. Whether you are comfortable or struggling, those who encountered him often left with contentment because M.K.O assisted unconditionally, as it was often said, it was a gift from God.

15 years ago today, an illustrious son of our country and the continent, drank a ‘rice’ ladened tea and breathed no more, he gave and gave till he gave his life for a selfless cause- the June 12 struggle. May he continue to rest in peace.

“Because of this man, there is both cause for hope and certainty that the agony and protests of those who suffer injustice shall give way to peace and human dignity. The children of the world shall know the great work of this extraordinary leader and his fervent mission to right wrong, to do justice, and to serve mankind. The enemies which imperil the future of generations to come: poverty, ignorance, disease, hunger, and racism have each seen effects of the valiant work of Chief Abiola. Through him and others like him, never again will freedom rest in the domain of the few. We, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus salute him this day as a hero in the global pursuit to preserve the history and the legacy of the African diaspora” – The Congressional Black Caucus of the United States of America

MOSHOOD KASHIMAWO OLAWALE ABIOLA: AUGUST 24 1937- JULY 7 1998

m.b.o.owolowo@gmail.com
-M.B.O
2013©
Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

June 12: How Can We Forget? (2) By Chido Onumah.


Chido Onumah
Columnist:

Chido Onumah

“I betrayed my very genuine friend for 25 years. From the day we met, there was rapport. I had my friend there waiting to take over. Truly, it would have been a great destiny”. – Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.

“There were other generals, including Sani Abacha, who said if power was ceded to a southerner like Chief Abiola, the North will have nothing left. They then put my father in a corner, they threatened him”. – Mohammed Babangida

June 12, 1993 was a golden opportunity to set the country on the path of genuine democratic reconstruction, but IBB squandered it. Expectedly, our politicians moved on. They were co-opted into Abacha’s transition and for them June 12 became history. Abacha’s Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana was one of earliest people to sing the dirge of June 12.

In May 1994, as Nigerians prepared to mark the first anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election, Gana reminded us that, “The (Abacha) military administration did not actualize the June 12 election in spite of its opposition to the annulment for fear that certain sections of the country could rise against it. If they actualized June 12 when they came in, another section would rise”.

Gana admitted that the annulment was a terrible error, but that Nigeria’s corporate existence could not be sacrificed for it. According to him, “The annulment is a painful one, but we cannot because of it allow the people of Nigeria to be destroyed. Somebody has made a mistake like somebody made in 1966, like somebody made in 1984, like somebody made a mistake by stopping Jerry Gana in becoming a president by annulling my own primaries”.

Of course, it was a costly mistake that cost lives and threatened the very existence of the country. On 11 June 1994, president-elect Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, declared himself president. The Abacha administration hunted Abiola down, arrested him and imprisoned him. Abiola would die in prison on July 7, 1998, a month after Abacha expired.

While I was working on this book, I had a phone conversation with Odia Ofeimun, the famed poet and former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), who informed me that he was working on a book on June 12. He said it was important that Nigerians did not forget; that for too long progressives had yielded the political stage to recidivist politicians to the detriment of the country. I couldn’t agree more.

How can we forget that there was an election on June 12, 1993; that the election was annulled; that some of those who oversaw the annulment and their collaborators still call the shots in the country? How can we forget the ignoble roles of the likes of Arthur Nzeribe and Abimbola Davies of the infamous Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) who put themselves and their organisation at the service of the military junta?

Any nation that lacks memory is doomed. How can we forget Kudirat Abiola, wife and mother, who was gunned down in broad day light in a Lagos street because she dared to question the rationale for her husband’s detention; Pa Alfred Rewane who was brutally murdered in his bedroom for supporting pro-democracy activists as well as many unsung heroes and heroines of the June 12 struggle?

Six years after he “stepped aside”, IBB was on hand to help install Olusegun Obasanjo, Abiola’s kinsman, as president of the 4th Republic, perhaps as part of efforts to “compensate” the South-west for the loss of Abiola. In retrospect, twenty years after he caused the June 12 debacle, this is how IBB explained his treachery: “The emergence of Obasanjo came about as a result of what happened in the country; the country was in a very serious crisis and we had to find the solution to these problems and therefore we needed a leader known in the country.

“We did not believe in foisting somebody who is not known; so, we looked for a man who has been involved in the affairs of this country, who held positions either in the military or in the cabinet and who has certain beliefs about Nigeria. Now, all of us that were trained as armed forces, there is one belief that you cannot take away from us; we believe in this country because this is part of our training. We fought for this country, so when you have a situation like that, you need a leader that has all these attributes and quite frankly, he quickly came to mind”.

IBB actually used the word “foisting”. We all remember how Obasanjo – the pseudo-democrat who told us that Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 election, was not the “messiah” – foisted an ailing Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on the nation in 2007 after eight years of misrule.

The “Abiola is not the messiah” mantra was Obasanjo’s simple way of dismissing Abiola’s victory on June 12, 1993, and upholding the subsequent annulment of the election. Obasanjo may have believed that Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the real messiah. That was why he handed power over to him in 1979 even though it was clear he (Shagari) did not win the presidential election of that year.

Thanks to the likes of IBB, Obasanjo and their “politics of settlement”, today we are saddled with President Goodluck Jonathan, one of the greatest beneficiaries of our “negotiated existence”. Unfortunately, Nigeria was first negotiated on the terms of a marauding band of merchants and empire builders; and subsequently by a military cabal and its civilian collaborators. Now is the time to negotiate it on the terms of the mass of our people who bear the brunt of its lopsided and unjust features.

As part of the process of reconciliation, President Jonathan can honour Abiola as the second democratically elected president of Nigeria. If he can pardon convicted serial treasury looters and grant amnesty to militants and terrorists, he certainly can honour Abiola.

That should kick start the much needed national dialogue on the future of Nigeria.

conumah@hotmail.com

*This piece is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Nigeria is Negotiable.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Warm Embrace With The Ghost Of June 12 By ‘Sola Fagorusi.


By ‘Sola Fagorusi

Time is a falcon. It flies. And it does so swiftly. The gun sounds had become the norm and my parents had instructed that we lie down at the first sound. Soldiers were all over Lagos and people, especially young people, were on the street pelting them with stones and other handy items. I peeped and saw Soldiers posing to aim shots into the crowd. My mind was too young to extensively understand the manoeuvrings of what I saw but I remember what I saw that morning. I recall the bonfires. I remember that someone was hit by a bullet on the hand and he was quickly taken away by his friends. Two days earlier, a neighbour’s son had jumped from the balcony of their three storeys building annexing the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Oworosoki. He had jumped in panic of gun shots he heard. It was all chaos in the organised form. Schools closed incessantly and there was always a crowd at newspaper stands trying to outshout one another while sometimes pursing airless postulations and theory.

Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, the Epetedo declaration that followed a year after and the several protests following the arrests of key players in the country’s pro-democracy movement, the country moved to the cliff. Just a weak nudge and all would have fallen apart. The June 12 election of 1993 has always been described as the fairest and freest election ever in the history of the country. With seeming fierce contention by the two camps of MKO Abiola and Bashir Othman Tofa, the election was then going to be a decider for the fate of the country following runs of military rules. Tofa was the presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention, NRC – the party with the simple emblem of the eagle. Abiola on the other hand was the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP. In what is still today referenced as a first and only, Abiola, a Muslim from Ogun state had another Muslim from Katsina as his running mate. Tofa meanwhile had Ugoh Sylvester from the east as his own vice presidential candidate.

In the Nigeria of 1993, the religious composition of the candidates did not matter. Earlier, Abiola had defeated Baba Gana Kingibe who later became his running mate and Atiku Abubakar for the primaries ticket of the party. Abiola’s campaign given his wealth ran through the length and breadth of the country. Radio and television stations were swamped with his Hope ’93 jingle – Abiola na the man o/SDP na the party/ to solve our problem/and better our lives/ SDP, MKO Kingibe action/ Abiola, Abiola, Abiola, progress…. Even kids in secondary school knew this song. It was simple to sing and it smelt of the hope it promised. And it was somewhat easy to believe.

By the afternoon of the Election Day, the option A4 and open ballot system made it possible to know that it was only a matter of time, Abiola was going to be announced the winner of the election. Given instruction to stop announcing the results, the NEC chairperson then – Professor Humpery Nwosu stopped the election abruptly. It was aborted even though the result was already obvious. Abiola had won and he had not won! Nwosu kept mute. Even his book which he launched in 2008 (fifteen years after the election) and had anticipation from the public on the possibility of unveiling the truth never did. Titled Laying the Foundation for Nigeria’s Democracy: My account of June 12, 1993; Nwosu therein told us that MKO had 8,323,305 votes while Tofa had 6,073,612 votes. He put a figure to what we already knew but then MKO was already dead.

Those who know have told stories of how Abiola won at polling stations in the barracks and the famous one of how right in front of Tofa’s house in Kano, Abiola had also won the election. Given the wealth of Abiola, it was understandable to know that his political machinery was well oiled. It is on record that it was only agents of the SDP at the polling stations that had analogue mobile phones which then was pretty expensive. With this, they monitored the election and fed their headquarters with updates.

Tried as they have, the ghost of June 12 still drifts confidently on our land. Maybe until when a national election in Nigeria equals and possibly surpasses it, the ghost may never consider resting. June 12, 1993 was our finest electoral moment as a nation. The 2011 presidential election chaired by Professor Attahiru Jega had nothing similar to it. Nigeria was torn at its religious and tribal seams showing from results of the election. No political party worth its salt today in Nigeria would ever consider such Muslim-Muslim ticket even though what should count is competence and not ethnic or religious affiliation.

Two decades after, the ghost of June 12 is still alive and possibly that of several people killed extra judicially in the numerous protests that followed. It is in search for a relationship beyond what mere affection can give. Can Jega give it the affection it desperately desires in 2015? The several efforts to kill the ghost has failed especially attempt at the federal level not to recognise the day as the true date for celebrating the values of democracy. The closet shot was the misstep by the president to name the University of Lagos after the celebrated icon and winner of that election. Till date, there is no national cenotaph in honour of this finest of days.

June 12 is our story. In June 12 lies the lesson and model for the future Nigeria desires – one where Chiedu can conveniently win an election in Ekiti State and Yushau can win followership as a vice presidential candidate from voters in the creeks of Balyesa; a future where the colour of one’s ethnic background would be a faded one in the equation of politics.

On the march again (twice)/ looking for Mr. President/ MKO (was/is) our man o…

@SolaFagro on Twitter

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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