- Olusegun Obasanjo has received condemnation for not recognising June 12 struggle
- Some chieftains accused the former president of not appreciating that he is a beneficiary
- Some noted that the former president ha allowed ego to override what he should have done in the interest of Nigerians
Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has come under fire from elder statesmen in the country for not recognising the struggle of Late Chief Moshood Abiola and honouring him with June 12.
According to The Nation, Senator Ayo Fasanmi who is a chieftain of the Afenifere said Obasanjo was not the leader of the Yoruba people or the messiah of Nigerians.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for doing what Obasanjo failed to do.
He said: “Is Obasanjo the messiah now? He is not the messiah we are looking up to. As far as I am concerned, Obasanjo has become a spent force. He wants to be recognised as the one directing the affairs of the nation at every stage from the time he was military Head of State, civilian president, through the late President Umaru Yar’Adua time to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s period. He has the feeling that he knows it all.
“We should be careful about Obasanjo. I have my reservations about him. Yoruba must come together but not behind Obasanjo. Obasanjo can’t lead us. I can’t recognise any invitation from Obasanjo.
“The honour that was conferred on Abiola by President Buhari should have been done by Obasanjo. He didn’t do it. We thank President Buhari or doing this. We should support him and not Obasanjo’s agenda. Obasanjo should go into retirement. He only wants to be seen and heard.”
Ayo Opadoku who is a former general secretary of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) expressed sadness over Obasanjo’s refusal to acknowledge Abiola saying he was a beneficiary of the struggle.
He said: “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who the military foisted on Nigeria for eight years ignored all pleas to close the chapter of military’s disrespect to the popular will of the Nigerian people as expressed on June 12, 1993 which results have been officially announced at all the wards, local government areas, and state levels of collations confirming Abiola’s victory.”
Comrade Jude Egbas who is a June 12 activist knocked Obasanjo for failing to address the annulled June 12 1993 presidential election.
He noted that “Obasnjo had eight years to recognise Abiola as the winner of the June 12 election and tender apology to the MKO family and Nigerians for the injustice. But his ego wouldn’t let him be great.
“Obasanjo was the military choice after the 1993 robbery of MKO and Nigerians. Obasanjo was the one the power elite settled for to placate the Southwest after the injustice done Abiola. Ironically, from 1999 to 2007, Obasanjo refused to mention Abiola’s name and refused to acknowledge the significance of June 12. Obasanjo had the opportunity to right the wrongs of June 12, but he blew it. Hopefully, someday, he will publicly tender unreserved apologies for his ignominious roles in the June 12 debacle.”
Meanwhile, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in his evaluation of Nigeria’s democratic history, said that June 12, not May 29, captures the nation's evolution in the struggle for freedom.
This position by Tinubu is contained in a statement he signed to commemorate the June 12 celebration titled, June 12: The truth that sets democracy free in our land.
He maintained that May 29 only stands for Nigeria's transition from military to democratic rule in 1999, adding that the date does not reflect the woes the country suffered even before 1993 as a result of dictatorship,
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