June 12: PDP Reacts To Buhari Honouring Abiola

By Ikenga Chronicles June 7, 2018

June 12: PDP Reacts To Buhari Honouring Abiola

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the national honour proposed to be conferred on late Moshood Abiola, by President Muhammadu Buhari, reeks of hypocrisy and political desperation ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The announcement was made on Wednesday night in honour of Mr Abiola, who won the annulled presidential election of June 12, 1993. Mr Abiola was arrested in 1994 while struggling to claim his mandate from military dictators at the time. He died in custody in July 1998.

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Kudirat Abiola, one of the late politician’s wives, was amongst those who died in the struggle for the implementation of his mandate. She was killed in a suspected assassination in 1996 by suspected elements of Mr Abacha’s junta in Lagos.

The military junta led by Sani Abacha accused Mr Abiola of declaring himself president, a move it saw as a treasonable felony and kept him in perpetual custody until his death, which came a month after Mr Abacha himself died of suspected cardiac arrest.

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PDP, in a statement by its publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that the president’s action merely seeks to use the name and person of Abiola to gain political capital and not out of genuine reverence and recognition for him.

The opposition party says it sees Wednesday’s announcement as shocking as it recalled the president never associated, either by words or actions, with Mr Abiola. It said Mr Buhari was not also sympathetic to the Abiola family when Mr Abiola’s wife, Kudirat, was “gruesomely” murdered by the agents of a government which Mr Buhari served.

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“It is, therefore, a sign of political desperation for President Buhari to seek to use Chief Abiola’s name as a tool to sway Nigerians in less than twelve months to an election where he, (President Buhari) is seeking a second term.

“It is also shocking that the respectable grave of Abiola can be dishonoured by granting a posthumous award on him along with someone who denounced the June 12 mandate and preferred the company of his (Abiola’s) traducers.

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The party claims “Even those who now masquerade as change agents were opposed to the naming of the University of Lagos after Chief Abiola.”

The party said if the president genuinely wants to honour Abiola, he should do so by ending all “anti-democratic proclivities of his administration and allow for the rule of law and respect for our constitution”.