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Remembering June 12 & M.K.O Abiola

By Samuel Ibiyemi

My hope of a better Nigeria with good leaders was raised when democracy regime was finally enthroned on May 29, 1999 six years after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

Today, I am totally disappointed at the attitude  of double minded politicians full of deceit, self centered and only accessible when you are praising them for looting the treasury.  The ills of Nigerian society that June 12 struggle aimed to remove from our political leaders have tripled in size and value.

How can we remember souls of Nigerians killed as a result of June 12 struggle among civilians and the military. If we can forget in a hurry, we should not forget the massacre of protesters that blocked the  Third Mainland Bridge by the aides of late Head of State Sani Abacha.

We should not forget Nigerians killed by kerosene explosion resulting from adulteration as a result of scarcity. We should not forget several Nigerians who died in detention as a result of June 12 struggle.

Even though Chief M.K.O Abiola died several years ago, many Nigerians helped and brought out of poverty will not fail to remember his impact on them.

They will not fail to call for the immortalization of  Aso rock as requested by Chief Frank Kokori.

Today, fighters of June 12 in high political positions are now fighting the masses and oppressing them. At that time, June 12 struggle fighters in the country and not  those who ran away on exile eat together and share ideas on a common table regardless of religious and ethnic background. Is it not possible for us to go back to the table and discuss as Nigerians.

I will not forget quickly  corruption, humiliation and ethnic centred senior officers of the military with so much hope that democratic regime will sanitize.

I cannot forget in a hurry sudden retirement of 53  Yoruba senior military officers  for allegation of being members of NADECO. The struggle represents the unity of all ethnics and received support of  radicals from the  North led by Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

  It was very sweet to participate in mufti as a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in protest against the military regime even though I was a student sent by the military on study leave for higher studies. I can remember very well lectures on true democracy with no boundary of religious and ethnic sentiment by late Pa Abraham Adesanya.

 I remember very well young military senior officers returning on tour back to Kaduna in the ill-fated C-130 crash at Ejigbo before the election in 1992. I can remember vividly, fuel crisis that engulfed the nation as a result of the incarceration of Chief Frank Kokori Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers.

Therefore, it saddens my heart how politicians that particicipated in the June 12 struggle today have suddenly turned fellow Nigerians into slaves in the name of governance. I am disappointed today that the youths calling for the eviction of Igbo from the North did not witness June 12 crisis in South West.

I am totally confused with the attitude of our political leaders sponsoring crisis from behind due to loss of power at the centre. I am indeed troubled by the attitude of civil societies who have not been able to protest against Fulani herdsmen killing innocent Nigerians as a result of democratic regime.

Where are the June 12 fighters in South West with the state of infrastructure? Where are the fighters today but milking the resources of the nation and making Nigerians to become more impoverished? What has gone wrong with the fighters of yesteryear who are now leaders of corrupt practices as governors and ministers diverting bailout fund and Parish refund?

Can we have the youths that will fight truly for transparency beside rented crowd of unemployed and street urchins? What was the state of Nigerian roads during the struggle and today? Where are the budgets for refineries, power stations and other infrastructure needed for Nigeria to be relevant in the comity of developing nations?

June 12 struggle should be restructured to reflect the interest of all Nigerians and not divide and rule. It is time for various ethnic groups  in the North and other geopolitical zones to form a common front against corruption being used today to divide Nigeria.

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