By Adeyemi Adeleye
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Gani Adams, has said that the late Chief MKO Abiola represented hope, liberty, and freedom during his lifetime.
Adams stated this at the commemoration of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election by Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Saturday in Lagos.
According to him, Nigeria’s democracy is still not in tune with the ideals, which Abiola, the winner of the election, lived and died for.
He said that the democratic ideals of the late business mogul enabled him to win the presidential election, even in the North where his main opponent, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, came from.
Adams, who decried what he called disunity, rivalry and senseless killings, said that these challenges had had adverse effect on the nation’s democracy.
He said: “This present danger has been threatening the fragile union of our great country.
“Today, the symbol of unity had passed on and what we have now in Nigeria is nothing but a fragile unity, where all the ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria live with mutual suspicion.
“The late MKO Abiola, in his lifetime, represented hope. Remember, his campaign slogan was ‘Hope 93,’ but the question remains: ‘Is there still any hope in Nigeria?
“It is because the politicians that are supposed to give hope to the hopeless Nigerians are fast dashing their hopes and eroding the very foundation of democracy.
“The late MKO Abiola also symbolised liberty and freedom for all.”
Adams said that the June 12 struggle had metamorphosed into struggles for true federalism and restructuring.
He called for true justice, fairness and equity to deepen the nation’s democracy.
Adams decried insecurity, poverty, unemployment, lack of electricity and good healthcare system as well as lack of good education.
The speakers at the event, including Prof. Derin Ologbenla of University of Lagos and Chief Linus Okoroji, voiced their concerns about the state of the nation.
They also called for justice, fairness and equity from the political class.
Ologbenla said: “We don’t want hegemony; we want fairness and equity where the poor are attain their full potentials.
“If there is no fairness and equity, there is no way the country can be united.”
Okoroji, who noted that the problem confronting Nigeria had to do with domination by the minority group, said that such would not work.
“Our problem in Nigeria is domination; that will not work. Let us live as God had created us. God did not create Nigeria, it was the Europeans who created and gave us the name, Nigeria.
“We were Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo before they came. And look at us, a country which God endowed with a lot of resources and yet, we are suffering. Let us be independent as God had created us,” he said.