November 17, 2023

Tinubu’s victory: Reward for NADECO, June 12 Democracy struggles – Udeh

By Rita Okoye

One of the NADECO foot soldiers in the 90s, Olive Udeh, an English-trained lawyer and businessman has said that the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election in Nigeria was a reward for NADECO, June 12 struggles.

Udeh who was said to have been on many occasions brutalised by the ruthless military boys while protesting against the military junta said that a nation or society that fails to appreciate individual sacrifices will never progress.

In this a recent interview with him, he spoke on why Bola Ahmed Tinubu boldly declared that it was his turn to lead Nigeria, what would have become the fate of Senator Oluremi Tinubu if her husband had lost his life during the June 12 struggle, how those who fought against democracy are now the ones reaping the rewards of democracy.

“What happened in the February 25th presidential election was nothing but reward for courage. It was a reward for steadfastness. It was a reward for not giving up. It was a reward for perseverance. Even the late sage, Rt. Hon. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe said that it is only a madman that can challenge somebody with a gun, but Bola Ahmed Tinubu courageously did that for the sake of democracy.

“I was shocked to discover that history subject is no longer been taught in the secondary schools in the country, so people under the age of 40 don’t know the sacrifices, even supreme sacrifices that a lot of people paid for this democracy to come into being. A lot of people lost their lives when they were fighting for the present democracy. Notable among them include Pa Rewane, and Kudirat Abiola, to mention just a few.

“Me as a NADECO foot soldier then, on many occasions, I was brutalised. On my skull, now I have two scars which were a result of a military gun butt. As young men then, we were burning tyres on the road while protesting and soldiers rounded us up and shot some of us. What saved me was because the soldier that came to me first hit the butt of his gun on my head and blood began to flow like water so others thought that I was already shot and would be dead soon.

“That was how I escaped death on that day. Therefore, I see the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was one of our leaders as a reward for the struggle. Tinubu was then in Nigeria fighting and the military was looking for him everywhere to kill him. When the heat became too much, he escaped to the United Kingdom and there, John Kayode Fayemi and others opened NADECO radio, which later became Kudirat radio and with that, continued to create awareness for the struggle. Apart from that, he was also helping to source funds for those who were in the struggle in Nigeria. So, what we saw on February 25, 2023, was the reward for the struggle,” he stated.