By Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday tasked the Federal Government to let the people of the country know details of events that led to the death of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola.
Speaking at a symposium organized by the state government in collaboration with civil society groups in Osogbo to mark the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Aregbesola stressed that the Federal Government owes Nigerians details about the death of Abiola.
The Governor in his speech entitled “June 12 and the National Question” maintained that the crises that emanated from the June 12 election annulment brought to the fore the fundamental political cracks of Nigeria’s polity.
He stressed that Nigerians deserve full knowledge of all that transpired in the corridors of power during the military era when Abiola lost his life in detention.
His words: “the annulment revealed in a most brazen manner the problem of unjust political domination and the need to restructure our political system and redefine the basis of our national existence.
“This is a central concern of what is generally described as the national question. It is also the basis of the widespread call for convening a sovereign national conference to renegotiate the basis of our nationhood.
“The national question remains unaddressed and we are still grappling with the drawbacks. Yet the national ruling power establishment continues to live in denial of this reality, and pretending as though the problems are not there, or nursing the futile hope that the problems will simply disappear, of their accord.
“June 12 and Chief Abiola represent a great lesson for Nigeria in nation building. They are a metaphor for the plausibility of unity in the country; that if we work hard at it, we can find worthy causes with which the people can identify and around which they can truly unite. This is the great lesson Chief Abiola has taught us in nationhood.”
Speaking at the event, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington, regretted that June 12 was not made national holiday.
He then commended Osun state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and others for declaring June 12 public holiday in honour of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Chief MKO Abiola.
“Mr. Aregbesola needs to be thanked for remembering what too many states seem too willing to forget. It seems that only four others stand with Osun today in declaring this 20th anniversary of June 12 a public holiday,” he stated.