June 12: President Buhari has brought healing, reconciliation to Nigeria —Hafsat Abiola

Hafsat Abiola-Costello

The daughter of late Chief MKO Abiola, Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello, the presumed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for bringing reconciliation and healing to Nigeria by recognising her father.

Hafsat, who is the founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), a human right organisation she established in honour of her slain mother, Kudirat Abiola, spoke in an emotion-laden speech on Tuesday in Abuja, thanking the Federal Government for the conferment of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late father.

She said that the award to her father and other Nigerians meant so much to her.

Kola Abiola, the first son of MKO Abiola had called on Hafsat to speak on behalf of the Abiola family, at the investiture of the posthumous award on their father held at the Presidential Villa.

ALSO READ: June 12: Buhari confers GCFR posthumous honour on MKO Abiola

“It is difficult to try to stand in the shoes of a giant of one of the greatest human beings that the world ever had. But that is the responsibility that I bear today.

“Even for Chief MKO Abiola, it was difficult to imagine how he would speak to Nigerians in his inauguration speech.

“My mum told me how he would stand in front of the mirror, preparing the speech because the results were coming in and he taught he would surely deliver the speech.

“You know he was a stammer and he would start … fellow Nigerians and he never really got pass fellow Nigerians.

“He would say a few words and then reply not like that, and he would start again.

“Although he was Yoruba, he loved Hausas, Kanuris, Efiks, Igbos and all, you just needed to be a Nigerian,’’ Hafsat said.


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