Jamiu Abiola, a son to late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, has slammed former President Olusegun Obasanjo for benefitting on his father’s blood but failing to recognise his contribution to the nation’s democracy.
MKO Abiola died fighting for his mandate, while Obasanjo was elected President in 1999 on the country’s return to democracy.
Jamiu spoke, Sunday in Abuja, at an event tagged “Testimonies of Change,” designed to showcase the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event, organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, witnessed personal testimonies by beneficiaries of government programmes.
Jamiu, who was among the testifiers, said for over two decades, Nigerians gave a mandate to his father who was denied of it and eventually killed, adding that the family suffered emotional and psychological torture as a result. He said his mother, Kudirat Abiola, who fought for his father’s mandate, was also killed in the process, leaving seven children behind. He said Obasanjo benefitted from the democracy struggle by his late father and mother when he was elected as President in 1999.
Jamiu said in spite of coming from the same region and state as his late father and mother, Obasanjo declined to recognise their contributions to the enthronement of democracy.
He, therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, who after over two decades, recognised his father and declared June 12 National Democracy Day. “What President Buhari has done, despite not being a Yoruba man, has ended the emotional and psychological trauma my family has gone through all these years,” he said.
Jamiu also testified to Buhari’s giant strides in reaching out to poor people and improving on infrastructure such as power, roads, rails, stressing that June 12, which his parents paid the supreme sacrifice for, was about the poor and the masses. Another testifier, who represented the 564 hitherto abandoned pensioners of Aladja Steel Rolling Mills in Delta, described the president as “God sent.”
Livinus Okoh, Chairman of Rice Growers Farmers Association in Ebonyi, said the Anchor Borrower Programme of the administration recorded tremendous achievements on local production of the staple towards self-sufficiency.