June 12, 1993 remains a moment that shook the very foundations of our nation and brought about a heterogeneous mix of belief, hope, fear and anxiety. It is under this backdrop that I and my fellow Nigerians are celebrating this day to remind the universe of the fact that the democracy we currently have, is borne out of a past that cannot be separated from the labour and resilience of Chief MKO Abiola(GCFR).
MKO’s “HOPE ’93” campaign up was the most honest political offering to the Nigerian people. The MKO upsurge came during the military era when democratic leadership was very skeptical. But that didn’t in any way deter him from making a statement that shook the nation. If anything at all, it looked like he was on the verge of transforming Nigeria to the wealth hub of Africa. That ambition was never to be and it will remain one of the biggest talking points of our democracy for a very long time.
I and fellow compatriots have chosen to reflect on June 12 soberly. It’s now more than just another memorial. We must remind ourselves of the fact that the dreams and aspirations of every Nigerian to see a better tomorrow is still very much alive.
Distinguished constituents, Lagosians and Nigerians, as we reflect today on the unquantifiable, selfless sacrifice and contributions of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola to the development of our fatherland, let us remember in his words that “Only real democracy can move our Nation forward towards progress, and earn her the respect she deserves from the international community”. I therefore enjoin us all to rededicate ourselves to the service of the nation and continue to remain united and patriotic. No greater honour can be bestowed on Late Chief Abiola than this. This is when the labour of the highly revered politician, businessman and philanthropist as well as other heroes shall not be in vain.
On a concluding note, I enjoin us all to continue to pray for the repose of the soul of the gallant father of democracy, our own dear uncle, father, great-grandfather and symbol of Nigeria’s unity, late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (GCFR). There was no humiliation that he did not endure; no snare that was not put in his path; no setup that was not designed for him in his endeavour to use the path of peace to enforce the mandate that was bestowed on him. We remember today, as always, that you died that Democracy may survive in Nigeria. We pray that your beloved wife, Alhaja Kudirat, and other patriots whose blood water the field of democracy that we now enjoy find peace with their Creator. May the soul of Chief MKO Abiola continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen!
Lets Keep HOPE Alive!
Hon Kehinde O. Joseph
MPA, BSc, FCPM, FCAI
Alimosho Constituency II.