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Over the past two weeks, Nigerians from all walks of lives have been releasing statements and commentaries in tribute to Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, winner of the 1993 presidential election.

Twenty-five years after the presidential election was cancelled, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 6, 2018, declared June 12 the new Democracy Day in commemoration of the democratic election of Abiola.

Born into a family of modest income in the southwest state of Ogun in 1937, Abiola, a successful businessman and philanthropist died on July 7, 1999, in detention at Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

After winning the 1993 general election, which was canceled by the military, headed by Ibrahim Babangida, Abiola announced himself the president at the end of 1993 and later found himself in the prison of the Sani Abacha led military regime.

This annulment caused agitation among the masses, with the perceived injustice fueling protests against the government and resulting in violence that claimed lives.

His death spurred riots in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub and other southwestern states when many people hinted that the famous politician might be poisoned to death.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, urged Nigerians to celebrate June 12 by rededicating themselves to the ideals of unity, peace, and progress on which the nation was founded.

“I recognize and salute the man who personified everything lofty and laudable that June 12 now represents: Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of blessed memory, “she said in a statement.
Olusegun Fanibe, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), described June 12 as a symbol of Nigeria’s unity.

The politician said June 12 was a watershed in the annals of the history of elections in Nigeria, noting that the date was a day that Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation, religion, and creed, spoke with one voice and overwhelmingly voted for Abiola. Enditem

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