Berates Amosun for not declaring holiday
Twenty-three years after the death of Chief MKO Abiola, his family has demanded that all entitlements accrued to the office of the president be released to them.
The family also asked the government to de-annul the election and release the result officially.
These requests were made yesterday by the head of the family, AlhajiMuritalaAbiola, during an event to commemorate the annulled election.
According to him, it’s only journalists and government who refer to Abiola as acclaimed winner, adding that to the family,Abiola was a slain president of Nigeria.
Muritala said if the head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who was in office for three months, still enjoys the perks of a former president, late Abiola deserved more than that.
The younger brother of the late acclaimed winner of the election added that if Abiola could lay his life for the enthronement of democracy in the country, June 12 should be declared democracy day.
He said, “First, we want the federal government to declare June 12 as democracy day. They should do even more than that.
“The first thing the family wants is that, for example, Ken SaroWiwa died fighting for thisOgoni oil spillage, the federal government is doing the cleaning up of the oil spillage in Ogoniland.MKO was killed because of election he won, maybe it is you journalists or the Nigerian government calling him acclaimed winner.He is not acclaimed winner, they should confirm him as slain president of Nigeria.
“Afterall somebody ruled for maybe three months, they said Interim National Government, he is still enjoying presidential privileges; so MKO should be declared president although slain, so all the entitlements belong to the family.”
The family thanked the state government for keeping the memory of the late MKO Abiola alive by staging democracy walk for the past five years, but berated the government for not declaring Monday, June 13, as a work-free day since this year’s June 12 fell on a Sunday.
He argued that if public holidays like independence day which fell on Sunday could be declared the following day, this year’s June 12 should not have been different.
He noted that it was rather painful for Ogun State House of Assembly to have enacted a law declaring June 12 as a public holiday and the executive arm refused to honour it.
He said, “I don’t want to raise eyebrow but I am aggrieved, that’s my own opinion. People are telling us rule of law, Ogun State House of Assembly enacted a law declaring June 12 every year public holiday. Just before yesterday(Friday) when we went to Oke-Mosan (governor’s office) we were hearing that because it falls on Sunday there is no public holiday.
“It means the Ogun State government breaks the law because if it’s October 1st that falls on Sunday, they will give them public holiday on Monday. It is just the same thing but I believe we don’t have leaders, we have opportunists,” he said.
In his speach, Governor IbikunleAmosun said everyone knew that late MKO Abiola was the adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election but he was denied the chance to become the president.
Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs YetundeOnanuga, described him as the hero of the nation’s current democracy.