Abuja – The Methodist Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Oche Job, says the declaration of June 12 as a Democracy Day in Nigeria is justice done to the late Chief Moshood Abiola.
He stated this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
President Buhari had, last week, declared June 12, as the country’s Democracy Day in place of May 29 which had been celebrated for 18 years.
The declaration was in recognition of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election believed to have been won by late Chief Moshood Abiola.
According to the clergyman, where Abiola is lying now, if his spirit is there, he will change his position rejoicing.
“Look, he gave his life that the nation will stand. We must agree that Abiola, apart from being a generous man, a well-to-do, blessed by God, that he wanted to rule the nation and bring it to a level that every one of us will appreciate.
“Unfortunately, he nearly won the election, because they didn’t allow Humphrey Nwosu to declare him the winner. Immediately the counting was going on and everybody was glued to the television set, all of a sudden, Babangida came on board and said nothing is going to be announced.
“So Abiola wherever he is right now, he will be rejoicing that justice has been done; and his relations the same because his wife also died that way.
“The same course of pursuing righteousness for the nation, this man lost his life. Wherever he is right
now, his spirit will be rejoicing,” he said.
He said although former military President Ibrahim Babangida went contrary to the law in annulling the election, he would not blame him because military blood flows in his vein.
“And so if you are looking for somebody to blame, I am not part of it. I don’t blame Babangida for behaving the way he did because he was a soldier and neither do I blame Buhari the way he behaves because he has a solider blood in his vein,” he said.
The archbishop said the two lessons Nigerians could draw from the June 12 declaration was to keep military rule at bay and ensure a free and fair election not only in 2019 but at all times.
“People are enjoying the holiday now but Abiola is in the grave. But the only lesson we will learn is that military should never come and rule this nation any longer.
“There should be no coup any longer because the worst civilian regime is better than the best military regime.
“And I think any human being who has the interest of the nation in mind will pray and seek for fair, unrigged, credible, transparent election.”
“So I belong to those who advocate that every election, not just because of what has happened, should be credible and transparent. It should be very clear to everybody that so so person is winning the election,” he remarked.
There should be no blood shed at all. There should be no rigging. There should be no cheating. Justice should be allowed to prevail.
He said he was in support of the awards being giving to the awardees, saying : “I support the idea of giving them awards because my church does that, we give knighthood to people who are dead, especially if they did well and they were not able to make it while they were alive.” (NAN)