Guest ColumnistPolitics

Abiola and his three strange friends, By Dare Babarinsa

Dare Babarinsa

It is a matter of irony that President Muhammadu Buhari, who was decidedly hostile to Chief Moshood Abiola when he was our military Head of State, is the one to honour my old boss by recognising June 12 as a national holiday.

Yesterday, the first time the day was marked by the entire nation, Buhari named the National Stadium, Abuja, after the late hero. Buhari has paid what he owed Abiola and other heroes of our democratic struggle against military dictatorship.

June 12, 1993 was the day Nigerians in their millions trooped out to elect Abiola the President. He contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP and defeated his only challenger, Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention, NRC. Though Abiola’s victory was annulled by the dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, it was the struggle to validate Abiola’s victory that transformed the Nigerian political landscape and gave us the current democratic dispensation.

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