24 Years Like Yesterday: Nigerians Commemorate June 12 Election

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Today is June 12 and it’s a public holiday in most states of Nigeria’s South-West region.

lagos declare public holiday

It is the day set aside to commemorate the 1993 presidential election which saw the late Moshood Abiola, a philanthropist winning the presidential election which was later annulled by the then military junta headed by Retired General Ibrahim Babangida.

It was an election adjudged as one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s democratic history.

It was the first presidential election held in Nigeria since 1983 when the military took power in a coup.

Late MKO Abiola of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) defeated Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NCP).

It’s 24 years since the historic election but the lessons of the poll still ring loud on Nigeria’s democratic experience.

Late MKO Abiola was arrested and detained for years, and later died on July 7, 1998 in Abuja.

Leading a solidarity walk to commemorate the annulled June 12 election in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun described late MKO Abiola as a martyr of democracy in Nigeria.

Governor Amosun lauded the legacies of the late philanthropist and called on politicians across the country to build on the foundation he had laid.

Human rights activist Joe Okei-Odumakin also called for a posthumous declaration of MKO Abiola as the president of Nigeria.

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