Notable Nigerians, Including former governors of Abia and Lagos States, Orji Uzor Kalu and Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd ), Otunba Gani Adams, Professor Sophie Oluwole, Dr Mrs Joe Okei – Odumakin Comrade Tony Uranta and others have used the 2017 anniversary of the June 12 1993 election to call for restructuring of Nigeria.
The former governors and others, while speaking during the commemoration programme, organized by the Oodua People’s Congress to mark the 24th anniversary of the June 12 elections
also expressed the great need immortalize the winner of the election , Late Bashorun MKO Abiola.
Former Abia State governor , Orji Uzor Kalu , who was the chairman of the event, which took place at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, described June 12 as “ a symbol of democracy for the people of Nigeria irrespective of the ethnic group “The former governor also said that “ Democracy Day should have been June 12 and not May 29, which was wrongly chosen by those , who did not work for the democracy.”
Former governor Kalu also stated that June 12 symbolizes equity fairness and obedience to the rule of law. “These are the things the late Abiola died for . He wanted us to obey the rule of law in the country.”
Also former military governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuizi Kanu, while making his remark at the occasion called on the federal government to consider the calls for restructuring as a way of moving Nigeria forward .
The former Lagos State governor said “If we fail to restructure Nigeria peacefully, we may have to do it the other way”.
National coordinator of the Oodua People’ s Congress , Otunba Gani Adams in his welcome address at the occasion decried the abandonment of June 12 by other regions in the country , apart from the South West. The OPC chief said “It is indeed sad that apart from the Southwest states of Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Osun, which have doggedly continued to celebrate the hero, and later martyr of that battle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, there has been studied indifference to the June 12 phenomenon by the Federal Government and remarkably, the rest of Nigeria.”
He also pointed out that “ This is sadder still because the leader of that battle, MKO Abiola was not an ethnic champion: he was a man of pan-Nigerian vision and ambition, who went into politics to give the people hope, to unite them and lead them out of poverty. His campaign manifesto was instructively titled “Hope 93 — Farewell to Poverty: How to make Nigeria a better place for all.”
Adams averred that “ This is why I believe that if any date is deserving of celebration, it is June 12. The Federal Government of Nigeria, should as a matter of honour to the late politician and business mogul, Abiola, who fought and died for the current democracy, make June 12 of every year, a national holiday.”
The OPC chief posited that “Certainly, we are still far from Promised Land. For a country of so many ethnic nationalities, all yearning and craving for growth and development, their own way, the best that can be bequeathed onto the people is true federalism. And we shall continue to drum it in the ears of relevant authorities that no nation develops optimally when they hold themselves down to others for equal growth.”
“Every nationality has to be given the needed encouragement to grow at its own pace. This was the system handed down to us by our founding fathers immediately after independence. This is the sure way to live together in peace and harmony. It is a path we have to tread to assuage all bruised nerves and give succour to the eternally deprived nations in Nigeria,” Adams added.
The guest speaker at at the occasion, Dr Chidozie Okoro of the department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, described June 12 as a symbol of freedom for Nigeria. The university don also said that “now is the time to restructure Nigeria . The restructuring of Nigeria should be speedily and ultimately pursued”.
Dr Mrs Joe Okei – Odumakin said “the ideals of June 12 still live . We must imbibe them .. The federal government must speak the change and act the change by declaring June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria. Okei –Odumakin also called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency post – humously declare Abiola as the winner and that “Nigeria must be restructured”
Professor Sophie Oluwole blamed the problem in Nigeria on the leadership of the Nigeria, which according to her , had prevented the experienced right persons from leading the country.
Other dignitaries at the event , who spoke on the need to restructure Nigeria include: Comrade Debo Adeniran, Comrade Joseph Evah, Professor Banji Akintoye, Comrade Tony Uranta, Muhammed Kudu – Abubakar amongst others.