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19 years after June 12: Pro-democracy activists speak

BY DAPO AKINREFON

Without June 12, there won’t be May 29 — Ayo Adebanjo, former NADECO chieftain

I agree with what the public opinion says, it is to get a Federal Government institution named after him and the consensus of opinion seems to be the National Stadium at Abuja or in Lagos. We would not want him to be remembered by a monument that is controversial.

Shonekan; Abiola and Babangida

I want us to acknowledge the good intentions of the president, but I also want the president to take note of the objection raised by responsible citizens in the country.

It is worthwhile, we commend him (Jonathan) for remembering to immortalize him (Abiola); his predecessors did not pay attention to it. If a Yoruba man, who was in office for eight years, did not want to mention him, he (Jonathan) should be commended.

But I wish he (Jonathan) consider the opinion of those who are objecting to renaming the University of Lagos after him. I don’t support the condemnation that is attached to it, but we must acknowledge his good intentions and make suggestions as to how best he could be remembered without any controversy.

Keeping the legacy of June 12, is to declare that day as a public holiday. We should declare that day as democracy day instead of May 29. Without June 12, there would not be May 29. May 29 is the creation of the military, if we did not fight for it, there would not have been a day known as democracy day.

National Stadium should be nmed after him —Olu Falae
In his lifetime, Abiola loved to be known as the African pillar of sports. That is the title he was given and which he enjoyed using. My humble opinion is that, since he won a national mandate to become the President of Nigeria, the way to immortalize him, is to look for national monuments or landmarks to commemorate him, I will recommend that the National Stadium in Abuja to be named MKO Abiola stadium. That is something he would very much cherish.

Secondly, if we really want to immortalize him, June 12 should be named democracy day and not May 29. May 29 has no significance for Nigeria.

I understand May 29  was the day that Usman Dan Fodio conquered the Hausa states in the north. Whoever chose May 29, is provoking Nigerians.

We don’t need name changes for him — Dr Fredrick Faseun, OPC founder
I don’t think we need all these name changes.  We can build a monument in any of the universities; we can build a big hall in the University of Lagos and name it MKO hall or rename the Abuja stadium after him because he was known as the pillar of sports in Africa.

There are many things the Federal Government can do without the change of any name. If we must change the name, then, we must resort to the law. We can keep the legacy of June 12 by going to a national conference to restructure the country and reform the country.

FG should mark it as holiday — Reuben Fasoranti, National leaders, Afenifere
I think the best way to go about it is to name one monument, which is not controversial, after him and what comes to my mind is the National Stadium. It is not as controversial as the University of Lagos; more so that he was a keen supporter and promoter of sports.

That is the way I look at it. June 12 is a landmark in the history of this country; the federal government should mark it as a holiday because it is the real freedom day.

Recognize June 12 as democracy day— Yinka Odumakin, SNG spokesman
The best way to immortalize Abiola is to recognize June 12 as democracy day because that was what Abiola died for and that was the day that Nigeria got a template for her to solve all its problems.

The best way we can immortalize him is to recognize June 12 as Democracy Day and declare Abiola post humously as a former president of Nigeria; any other thing is an addition. The main thing is to place June 12 in the history of this country.


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