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June 12 Declaration: Late Chief Abiola's family reacts to Pres. Buhari democracy award

Family of the supposed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Mr Kola Abiola and Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Castelo, have appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 as day as the new Democracy Day’

In a letter to the president, dated June 6, 2018, Kola stated that he was appreciating the decision on behalf of the family.

He said, “Your Excellency, as I wrote in my letter to you on June 12, 2016, in our minds, the award was the only befitting recognition of the importance of Chief Abiola’s fight for democracy for Nigeria which culminated in four years’ incarceration/solitary confinement and decimation of his business and financial interests, before the ultimate sacrifice, being his life on July 7, 1998, at the age of 60,” he wrote.

“Your Excellency, your decision to also designate June 12 as Democracy Day rights the wrongs done to all the nation-builders and heroes that produced the democratic credentials on which the Nigerian polity now thrives. We are profoundly grateful to the people from all corners of Nigeria that worked tirelessly to ensure the freest and fairest elections in our nation’s history in 1993, fought valiantly for the Hope ’93 mandate given to Bashorun Abiola by the Nigerian people and died trying to protect the mandate.

“Mr President, I thank you earnestly for heeding our plea where others before you did not, whilst conveying the assurances of my highest esteem.”

Also,  Abiola-Castelo said the declaration of June 12 as the new Democracy Day  had “corrected Nigeria’s faulty democratic foundation.’’

Abiola- Castelo stated this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abeokuta, the Ogun capital.

She said, “What the past leaders have been telling us since 1999 was that the June 12 issue is a South-West issue and I wondered why an election in which vast majority of Nigerians voted for one person could be so described.

“I have been wondering over the years if Nigerian leaders are so petty and without moral compunction as to limit and confine such activity and date to a regional affair.

“President Buhari has, however,  done the right thing and acceded to the yearnings of Nigerians and made it a national issue.

” I believe more Nigerians will now be ready to re-dedicate their lives to Nigeria and be ready to commit themselves selflessly and sacrificially to the nation like late Moshood Abiola did.”

She noted that the development would also motivate and impact on the mindset of Nigerian leaders in taking bold steps to do the right thing.

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