June 12: Benin high chief calls for immortalisation of Enahoro

AHEAD of the June 12 Democracy Day celebration, a group, Castle Of Legends Initiative (COLI) has called for the immortalisation of foremost nationalist, Chief Anthony Enahoro.

Enahoro, a member of the defunct Action Group (AG) was credited for moving a motion for Nigerian independence from Britain in 1956.

A Benin high chief, Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin who spoke on behalf of the association in Benin yesterday said that it was unfair that Enahoro, the late Adolor of Uromi, Edo State was being left unhonoured among the Titans who fought for the independence of Nigeria.

Edebiri, a first republic politician lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising the late Chief Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election and the declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.

The Benin Chief, however, pointed out that such recognition and honours for Abiola and other heroes past will not be complete without Enahoro being honoured.

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He said: “We cherish these landmark developments, as they are capable of galvanising our people towards increased patriotism and strengthening the commitment to national service.

“It is in furtherance of this laudable initiative that the COLI calls on President Buhari to give a kind consideration to the immortalisation of late Enahoro, which is long overdue. He was a journalist, politician and ebullient nationalist fighter. In all of these endeavours, he was in the forefront of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence and defence of the rights of our people in the face of the high-handed and draconian policies of the colonial administration. It is also on record that Chief Anthony Enahoro moved the historic motion in 1953 calling on the British government to grant self-government in 1956.

Edebiri argued that Enahoro played a prominent role in sustaining the unity of the country most especially during the Civil War when he served as federal Commissioner for Information and spokesman on International Affairs.

Also, he reminded that as the leader of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), the deceased nationalist was also at the forefront of the restoration of democracy during the dark days of military dictatorship.

Edebiri insisted: “It remains our candid opinion that the late Chief Enahoro is a hero whose place in Nigeria history has not been accorded national prominence. It is in the record that Chief Anthony Enahoro has been classified among the founding fathers of the Nigerian nation along with the likes of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Sir Ahamdu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

“However in this category, only Chief Anthony Enahoro has not been immortalised by naming after him a prominent broad street, a Federal University or a Federal Monument of significance.”

While noting that the governments of Edo and Lagos states have on their own honour the late nationalist, Edebiri said, “We will like to emphasise that his heroism is of a national character which qualifies him to be recognised as such.”