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Soyinka wants Abiola’s photo included among those of past presidents

Wole soyinka, Falana, others at Abiola ceremony

Politics

Soyinka wants Abiola’s photo included among those of past presidents

The memory of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential elections in Nigeria, Moshood Abiola is witnessing a renaissance in death that eluded him for a long time. In the past year, Abiola has received honours and recognition from the federal government, including the declaration of June 12 as the country’s official Democracy Day, and the renaming of the Abuja national stadium in his name.

Aluta Continua: On Sunday, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, led others to lay a wreath on Abiola’s grave to commemorate his death on July 7th, 1998. While recognising some of the recent recognitions for Abiola in recent times, Soyinka kept up the struggle with another major demand.

  • “This is the first gathering in honour of MKO Abiola after the formal recognition by the federal government that he was duly elected, and that he is a past president of this nation. And all we are waiting for is the formal actualisation through symbolic presence of his photographs among other presidents, even though he was never sworn into office.”
  • He also said that closure over Abiola’s death will be achieved when some of the challenges faced in the country are confronted and eliminated.

Details: The Wreath Laying Ceremony, organised by Women Arise for Change Initiative at MKO Abiola’s graveside in Ikeja, was also attended by Femi Falana, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Alhaji Mohammed Fawehinmi, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, among others.

On his part, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said that a team of lawyers is being assembled to re-open the case on the death of Abiola who died mysteriously while in detention, at the international court – so that justice would be served.

READ: 16 years later: Who killed MKO Abiola?

Why it matters: Comments by Soyinka (on symbolic photo recognition) and Falana (on reopening investigations over his death) are the logical next steps in righting the historial injustice meted on Abiola, his family, and the Nigerian people in the hands of the military. Even though, positive actions have been taken by the federal government in recent times, it only makes sense for all that needs to be done to achieve closure to be put in place.

READ: Flashback: Abacha and Abiola – “Divine intervention” or “Coups from heaven”

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