Some National Assembly members have called for the immortalisation of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola.
Some of these federal lawmakers who included Senators Adesoji Akanbi, (APC, Oyo South), Kabir Marafa (APC Zamfara Central), and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East) said this in separate interviews with one of our correspondents.
The senators all agreed that it was an abnormality for the Federal Government to have pretended as if Abiola did not deserve to be honoured specially for sacrificing his life for the country in the name of democracy.
Akanbi said, “ It is on record today that Nigeria is enjoying the current uninterrupted democracy today since 1999 because the late MKO Abiola laid down his life, that development forced the military to hand over power to civilians and face their constitutional responsibilities squarely.
“By now, major national monuments across the country should have been named after our own hero of democracy and others who lost their lives in the process.”
For Marafa, “The Federal Government should immortalise the late Abiola without further delay because it is long overdue.”
Anyanwu, on his part said, “The late Abiola should be immortalised as the icon of Nigeria’s democracy. Alfred Rewane and others who also paid the supreme sacrifice during the struggle, should not only be immortalised, but have their families compensated.”
Some members of the House of Representatives also backed the view that Abiola and other democracy icons should be immortalised.
One of the lawmakers from Lagos State, Mr. Olufemi Adebanjo-Bandele, said recognising Abiola was long overdue.
Adebanjo-Bandele, (Alimosho Federal Constituency), suggested that the National Stadium in Abuja or “any other befitting edifice” should be named after Abiola.
He added, “It is the most appropriate thing to do. It is long overdue. He and others had to die for us to have this democracy. Let us honour them appropriately.”
A member from Enugu State, Mr. Pat Asadu, said Abiola deserved more recognition than some of the persons that the Federal Government had recognised in the past.
He said, “I support that we should immortalise Abiola and all those who died for the cause of June 12.
“These were the people who worked for the democracy we are enjoying today. We have been celebrating less important people, why not Abiola?
“For me, June 12 should be Democracy Day and not May 29. We should name a less controversial national edifice after him, not like it was done with the University of Lagos.
“However, for the House, it can only come by way of a motion for a resolution to urge the government to recognise Abiola.”