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June 12: How best to immortalise Abiola — Sanwo-Olu, Akinrinade, Utomi, others

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By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Chris Onuoha and Monsuru Olowoopejo

AGOS—Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State,  former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd) and former Presidential aspirant, Prof. Pat Utomi,  yesterday, led other notable Nigerians to relive the spirit, struggle, principle and the lessons the June 12 stands for in the history of democracy in the country.

Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Rtd)

They spoke in Lagos to commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election won  by late Moshood Abiola.

The event was also attended by former military administrator of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd).

However, speaking at the residence of MKO, in Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Dr. Femi Hamzat, urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of June 12.

While laying the wreath, Sanwoolu commended Abiola’s family and the pro-democracy group that fought and made the day a reality.

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He said: “It has always been a family affair but today, government is joining to celebrate it as a democracy day in the country. I will use this moment to appeal to citizens to contribute their quotas to make the country governable.

“Government cannot do it alone without the commitment of the citizenry. Also Lagos State as also keyed Abiola’s ideals in its programmes.”

In their remarks, Akinrinade commended  President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to rename the Abuja Stadium after late Abiola.

In his remarks, Prof. Utomi urged the president, as mark of immortalization, to restructure police and tackle poverty in the country.

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Speaking at an event to commemorate June 12 as Democracy Day held in Alausa, Ikeja,  organized by the Lagos State Government themed: Democracy and restoration of true federalism in Nigeria, Akinrinade said: “It will be economically sensible if the national assembly can be encouraged by the president to pass a law or amend the constitution to move the inauguration date to June 12.

“I urge the president to protect itself from guilt by association and should declare public anyone, herdsmen, kidnappers, banditry, and whichever name they chose to go by either local or foreign, as criminal of the first order and to be dealt with as the law dictates. I notice that you are trying to restructure the police, please do it snappy and do not allow it turn to another talk shop.”

In his lecture, entitled: Hope 93: Democratic Prosperity and Political Stability, Utomi urged political office holders and the elite to work together by creating wealth to avert the impending anarchy in the country.

Also, Senator Shehu Sani  commended the group  for keeping the light on even when it was not favourable.

He said, ”The most important thing about the day is not the holiday or gifts but the spirit, message and principle that the day symbolise.”

“After this day, is to ensure that the idea and ideals for the progress of the nation is order of the day. It was the revolutionary resistant of Nigerian that gave rise to this day.

“We  can’t call ourselves Nigeria when we treat others as higher.

“The future of this country is when the leader do what they say. Somehow some leaders speak one thing in English and say another thing in their local language. If we don’t address these things, the country is still a mirage.”




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