June 12 In Series: Beyond An Award, A Critical Look At The Semantics

By Ikenga Chronicles June 10, 2018

–Gboyega Adejumo

Buhari wined and dined with Abacha and could barely wait to be president after Abacha died, save for the little time of 4 inevitable years, to allow a Southwest president in Aso Rock, after the wrong done to Abiola and the evil that followed — the hounding, killing, maiming, running out of town and into exile of Southwest and NADECO opposition to Abacha.

PMB, MKO, June 12, And Democracy Day: The Wrongheaded Celebration Of A National Tragedy

No sooner after Obasanjo took over in 1999, than Buhari started his quest to be president, beginning with his promotion of Sharia in year 2000 to 2001, asking the Muslim north to only vote for the candidate that will guarantee their rights to Sharia. Thereafter, he moved to Oyo State to defend the killings of the Yoruba by the Fulani herdsmen, his kinsmen.

That he waited till 2003 to come out in his first bid since Abacha died in 1998, was only due to a constitutional restraint. He then repeatedly, contested in 2007, 2011 and then in 2015!

June 12: The Move Of A Desperate President

The important questions to be answered, are these;

In all of the 12 years that Buhari repeatedly contested and with his 3 years in the saddle, making 15, why is it now that Buhari has deemed it fit to even mention MKO Abiola’s name, let alone an award given?

As an addition, did Buhari, in all of those 12 years from 2003 to 2015, ever make Abiola or June 12, an election, an electoral, a campaign, a national or an international issue?

Abiola: Rather ACEJD Than GCFR

In his inauguration speech on May 29th, 2015, Buhari did not even bother to acknowledge the sacrifice of Abiola, nor make a reference to June 12, yet he paid a glowing tribute to an Uthman Dan Fodio, who was never a Nigerian, only an immigrant, who arrived Gobir, Sokoto in 1804 and died before a country called Nigeria was so named in 1914!

And that is the man that is seen to be sincere in suddenly remembering Abiola, an afterthought, after the May 29th democracy celebration had come and gone for this year, in which Buhari made a speech punctuated by a lie in every line.

So I decided to find out exactly how another lie has now been sold, yet again and what I found, was confounding!

First, discountenance Tinubu and or the APC in this poisoined chalice, Trojan horse, red herring, Disneyfied decoy, all put together by a small clique of Southwsterners.

                 Late Chief MKO Abiola and Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo’s Refusal To Honour MKO Abiola Evidence Of Institutional Failure – Senator Sani

When a masquerade is tripping on somersaults on the rooftop, know this for a fact; a carpenter is the one inside of the costume!

Buhari’s “brainers”, trainers are the “usual” Brainier Southwestern intellectuals — when Buhari needed 21 lawyers including 11 SANs to defend his lack of certificate, it was by the way of employing Southwesterners to so provide the brains.

Therefore, clap not for Buhari, for this was not his show — he was only brought in, when the broth had been cooked.

Tinubu Reacts To June 12 Declaration

The band of Southwesterners who cooked this, didn’t so much have the same interests, although the author or convener is a known enemy to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the idea was mostly for a June 12 vindication, and to spite Obasanjo for not doing it, even though the author knew of a certain reaching over to the Abiola family by Obasanjo and all that ensued from that venture.

There is also a part played by a Buhari advisor in mostly facilitating the interest that Buhari was meant to take in this and to instill into Buhari the benefits of such a move in the glaring face of Buhari’s dwindling fortunes in the Southwest.

Now the deed is done, inclusive of the undeservedness of Babagana Kingibe, the Vice presidential candidate, who couldn’t wait 2 months before turning his back on the popular mandate, including becoming a Minister under the beleaguering Abacha carnage, visited upon the Abiola family.

June 12: Buhari Directs Gazetting of Presidential Order

But this crooked wizened move is perhaps just what this nation needs to cleanse itself from the tears of truth, and I shall explain.

It is hard explaining how June 12 explains our national sense of guilt to a fair-minded person. For this reason, I’ll say Yoruba people should not lay claim to exclusive sense of euphoria as elicited by the declaration of June 12 as a democracy day if it must stay a national holiday!

June 12: Buhari’s decision Has Shamed Obasanjo – Falana

The SDP presidential ticket was a peculiar ticket. A Muslim-Muslim ticket that won votes across religious and ethnic divides. It was a unifying ticket!

The annulled election was a national election.
And the spirit of that victory was national, until Abacha took over!

MKO Abiola, was a National Leader that commanded die-hard defenders of the June 12 elections from every part of the country.

                        MKO Abiola Campaign Posters (1993)

Lagos Declares June 12 As Public Holiday

But June 12 was in a different Nigeria with peculiar opportunities, the kind of which has yet to be seen or presented again.The kind of opportunities both Obasanjo and Jonathan, as presidents,never had!

In his first term, Obasanjo duly acknowledged the precarious balance of many burdens: the absence of balance in almost everything,and the imbalance of perception in the way of distrust, the prism by which Nigerians had come to see themselves through ethnic familiarities and realities.

It was a Nigeria he nurtured and tried to nurture to the level upon which a non-northerner could begin to aspire to power after the treatment meted out to Abiola.

Jonathan was to be that person, but also bedeviled with the unclear and distant perceptions of a non-northerner, that made such opportunities elusive.

The Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and Former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak

BREAKING: Buhari Is Plotting To Arrest Me-Obasanjo Raises Alarm

It was not Obasanjo that chose May 29th, contrary to the narrative that is purely fictional. It was General Abdulsalam, who said and I quote, “This day, May 29th, 1999, must rank second to October 1, 1960”, the date thereafter found its way into the constitution that became operative from that day onwards!

So I heard that when Buhari declared June 12 as “democracy day” and granted MKO Abiola, a posthumous GCFR alongside his running mate (who got a GCON) that some people were of the opinion that Kingibe does not deserve the recognition considering he wasn’t a turncoat. That he does, or does not, is not the issue .That it has yet again become the burden of easing off tensions in the land by the Intelligent Quotient of those who are killed during the day and cloaked in their death, is the issue, as we remember the 12 2/3rds formulae that ushered in Shehu Shagari in 1979!

Also the reality as it dawns, that a certain historical humiliation is now so much attached to Abiola’s martyrdom, with the attendant implication that by such annulment, its perpetrators feel no remorse about the crime since Abacha, his captor is also late, typifies the degradation and decadence to which late night awards are now subjected to.

                      General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Late Chief MKO Abiola

To Save Nigerian Democracy, PDP And APDA Must Be Destroyed

Do we realise the state of awareness to which only a relatively few people from other major ethnic groups see the declaration as justice served and that includes northerners?

As the aura suggests, “Finally, Yoruba have been compensated!”

Some political watchers even believe that the emotional detachment expressed by other ethnic nationalities could easily be associated with the opportunistic benefits that the frontline NADECO members from the Southwest have made of the struggle since the annulment and death of the winner.

Wherever you may stand, know that June 12 was about a doomed transition to a republic that left a trail of mass incarceration and assassinations.Unlike the Martin Luther King Day signed by Reagan into law in 1983, an “MKO Day” would have produced a more remorseful symbol of atonement if it had been shown same character.

Late Chief MKO Abiola, Late General Sanni Abacha and Former Governor of Lagos State, Michael Otedola

Who Killed Abacha And Abiola?: Generals At War–Onyedika Agbedo

It won’t matter if June 12 will still be observed by all 36 states should Buhari lose the next election. Whether we like it or not, a change of date, will still require an input from the National Assembly. What is important is that all states will eventually embrace it if justice has been served, even if like MLK Day, it will take another 17 years!

I will address the yawning gap that exists between the under 40s and the under 60s, in the appreciation of Abiola and June 12, in my next article.

P/S Exactly 20 years ago today, Abacha died !

———————To be Continued———————

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