June 12: Nigeria not in tune with ideals Abiola lived, died for ― Gani Adams

•Decries Twitter ban

Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, on Saturday in Lagos decried the current situation in the country, saying Nigeria, sadly 22 years into democracy, was still not in tune with those worthy ideals that the late MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, lived and died for.

Iba Adams said this while speaking during the commemoration of June 12, 1993 elections anniversary organized by Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), which took place in Ogba area of the state, pointing out that since 1999, Nigeria democracy had only evolved in promoting disunity, rivalry, senseless killings and massacre of the citizens on a daily basis, just as he declared that the present danger had been threatening the fragile union of a nation acknowledged as a great country.

The Yoruba generalissimo lamented that the country currently was sliding towards an anarchical terminal point, declaring further Nigeria was at war with itself because a section of the country has always betrayed what he described as the trust that bond everyone together as a nation.

“This present danger has been threatening the fragile union of our great country. And sadly, Nigeria is sliding towards an anarchical terminal point. Nigeria is at war with itself because a section of the country have always betrayed the trust which is the bond that binds us together as a nation,” Adams said.

Speaking on the late Abiola, Adams said he represented in his life time hope, liberty and freedom in Nigeria, positing that this enabled the late business mogul to win the presidential elections even in the the North, where his main opponent, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, came from.

“But today, that symbol of unity had passed on and what we have now in Nigeria is nothing but a fragile unity, where all the various ethic nationalities that make up Nigeria live with mutual suspicion.

“The late Aare MKO Abiola in his life represented hope. Remember, his campaign slogan was ‘Hope 93,’ but the question remains: ‘Is there any hope in Nigeria?’ And the answer is no. It is no because the politicians that are supposed to give hope to the hopeless Nigerians are fast dashing their hopes and eroding the very foundation of democracy.

“The late Aare MKO Abiola in his life symbolised liberty and freedom for all. But in reality, is there any freedom in Nigeria today? The answer is No.

“A good example of this is the Federal Government’s ban and suspension of Twitter platform. As far as I am concerned, it is another ploy to tamper with the citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and expression.

“And if the Federal Government succeeded in banning and suspending Twitter, it would easily do the same for other social media platforms. Now that the Federal Government has said all social media platforms must be registered to continue operating in the country. We must follow the trend and rise against skewed regulations. We must stop this excessive use of federal might to truncate the ideals of democracy,” he said.

“In global democracy, freedom of speech and expression is a major component of an ideal democracy. And Nigeria cannot continue to live in deceit and self denial. If democracy could not guarantee freedom of speech and expression, so what system of government will guarantee such component of good governance?

“I am sure the late Aare MKO Abiola will never be happy in his grave that the democracy he lived and died for turns out be autocratic in nature and practice,” he added.

Iba Adams, while speaking with newsmen, said giving the situation the country had found itself, the struggle had moved from advocating for true Federalism to self- determination as he had realised that the President Muhammadu Buhari- led Federal Government “is not ready to restructure Nigeria, especially the Northern elements.”

According to him, the position was arrived at because the Yoruba are hungry for liberation, tired of this suffering, backwardness, and also tired of serving a country being operated on the basis of nepotism, among others.

“We would continue with our struggle, but the level we are now, our struggle is moving from advocating from true Federalism to self- determination. This is because I realise that Nigerian government is not ready to restructure Nigeria, especially the Northern elements. They are not ready.

“We are hungry for liberation, we are tired of this suffering. We are tired of this backwardness, we are tired of serving a country being operated on the basis of nepotism.

“We are tired of a country that celebrates corrupt elements, we are tired of a country that believes in selective justice, that believes in using EFCC to try its opponents, to weaken the opposition. We are tired of country that its image is coming down everyday.

“When you travel out of this country, especially to Western Worlds, if you want to do business with anybody, by the time you mentioned Nigeria, you will see the countenance from that person. And we are tired of a country that does not have stable electricity, and we are tired of a country that cannot provide adequate security to its citizens and we are even tired of a country that can’t have three square meals, no free education, no good health system, no good standard of living.

“We are not being brought up as a race with sufferness as Yoruba race. Even from time immemorial, our forefathers ate three three square meals conveniently, but coming to Nigeria, we are made to to face backwardness in our society, so we are ready to put some change,” Iba Adams stated.

Various speakers at the event, including Prof. Derin Ologbenla of the University of Lagos, High Chief Mogaji, Chief Linus Okoroji, among others voiced their concerns about the state of the nation, decrying the unfairness, inequity, among others being meted to large section of the country by the minority who are in control of power at the centre.

Ologbenla, in his remark, declared: “We don’t want hegemony, we want fairness, equity, where the poor are recognized to become what he is destined to become.

“If there is no fairness and equity, there is no way the country can be united.”

Okoroji noted that the problem confronting the country had to do with domination by the minority people, declaring that such would not work and the need for everyone to live as God had created things before the Colonialists came to establish Nigeria as a country.

“Our problem in Nigeria is domination, that would not work. Let us live as God had created us. God did not create Nigeria, it was Oyinbo that created and gave us the name, Nigeria.

“We were Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo before they came. And look at us, a country God endowed with a lot of resources, and yet we are suffering. Let us be independent as God had created us,” he said.


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