Mr. Lekan Abiola is one of the sons of the late Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election as spoken about what the recognition of that date as Nigeria’s Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari means to the family
Some people have said that the recognition of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari in honour of your late father, MKO Abiola, was just to score some political point ahead of the 2019 elections, do you share this view?
I think that what President Muhammadu Buhari has done is a move long overdue. The democracy we have in Nigeria today was watered by the blood of a lot of people, including my father, MKO Abiola, and mother, Kudirat. For President Buhari to finally recognise June 12 as Democracy Day is wonderful and we are happy about it.However, we are hoping that he would be declared as a former president of Nigeria. If he was conferred with the highest honour in the country, the GCFR, which is only bestowed on presidents, then I think he should be declared as one. We also want all the rights and privileges of a former president accorded to him. Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, benefited so much from my father and had the chance to do this but refused to do so. We therefore thank President Buhari for finally honouring our father.
Did the family make effort to reach out to Obasanjo on why he needed to honour MKO while he was in power?
We tried on several occasions and even went to see him but he refused to do it. He never found any reason to do so. We thank God that someone else had honoured our father.