“On June 12 They Stood”: On June 12 They Paid The Prices for Our Today

June 12 presented to

Nigeria, a mirage; an illusion in a desert of social engineering where credible

leaderships were scarce, and in the absence of anything else as concrete as

June 12, we drank that mirage even before we discovered that it was unreal!

When the name June 12 comes up, everyone fidgets and wonders

the direction of the ensuring political discourse. Even if one were to be

thinking or referring to something absolutely unconnected with the Nigerian

political failure such as the Mundial World Cup 2014 (started in June 12), or

referring to a romantic date or date of birth or travel date. When that date is

mentioned in Nigerian, and mentioned in that chronological order of June 12, (not 12th of June,

12th day of June or June 12th), then political suspicions

are arose and one does not necessarily have to include 1993 to it, that date

June 12 will still raise scare. So the date has become a metaphor for many

things; things spoken, things unspoken but burdensome to the mind and soul. June 12 presented to Nigeria, a mirage; an

illusion in a desert of social engineering where credible leaderships were

scarce, and in the absence of anything else as concrete as June 12, we drank

that mirage even before we discovered that it was unreal!

A friend once commented that enough had been done and

written about June 12 and we as a nation need to move on. And he was right.

Left to General Ibrahim Babangida, this deliberate resolution to move on should

happen. We as a nation should stop sounding like a broken record since 21 years

when we are sure that history in its proper perspectives had been NOT been

taught, learnt and understood. With June 12, I am not sure the 18 year old

daughter of my friend has heard and learnt enough, nor the 20 years old of my

brother sufficiently understood the circumstances that brought about the

obnoxious Rotational Presidency of

PDP, or the clamor for justice and fairness and our caution to the present

political actors to remember the color of the blood that was spilt on the altar

of June 12 actualization so that we could have the pseudo political system that

we presently have.

It is my personal convictions that we cannot conclude that

enough had been written of June 12; its processes, its occurrence, its

post-June 12 and the 21 years aftermath of that singular date of destiny in

Nigerian parapoism. For the past 21

years, the people of south west had insisted this date must be honored and politically

consecrated as the democracy day. Those who remembered the struggles of that

era know that it is sheer vanity to allow that day to stop having meanings and

significant for as long as those who knew the events are still alive. And also

there is another unspoken reason why some have refused to abandon that date:

the main actor of that date, Chief Kasimawo Olawale, Abiola was a

philanthropist that was excessively generous to people without borders. He was

someone who had and shared with those who wanted. Some of those who eat with

him are still under obligation not to allow Abiola to be forgotten. Even if we

know that a 30 year old man cannot fully comprehend the essence of this date,

yet, those who felt dishonored, disgraced, de-humanized, reduced to second

class citizens in Nigeria simply because the elections were cancelled know that

honor lies in remembering that 21 years ago, some people took it upon

themselves to struggle and fight for the actualization of the collective

aspirations as indicated in the elections of the June 12. They fought and

confronted the hot bullets of tyrants and King Baabu, and we cannot allow 21

years to give us an impression that we are tired of being grateful and have

decided their sacrifices to be in vain. Even if it is very clear that Nigerians

no longer read, I will continue to write my thoughts and hope that every soul

that was lost in everything connected with June 12 will read, understand that

of everyone, Dele Sonubi continues to be grateful to them for the sacrifices

they made 21 years ago.

When I look back at the June 12 era, what I see horrify me,

but nothing was ever close to the imagination of the sacrifices that people

gave, so that the nation called Nigeria might live. I see those who went to the

street with palm tree leaves (symbol of aluta) I see those who allowed

themselves to be taken by police because they thought we will fight to get them

back, I see those who died from direct bullets and stray bullets, I see those

who were victimized because the previous day they shared their thoughts and

opinion with neighbors who sold out, I see those who were in their houses and

fire of political rascality, and partisan victimization got them to early grave

yard, I see those who left their families, had repeated nights of meeting

strategizing on the process of what will follow after what had followed follow.

When I look behind at 21 years ago, I see torture and extra-judicial killings

of our vocal elites and sages, the torture of social activists, the killings,

the exiles, the years of being unable to step foot on your mother land.

And then I see, Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu Ndubuis Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, and all his fellow executives at NUPENG and PENGASEN, I see Nigerian Labor

Congress (NLC) at its Ojuelegba headquarters, I see ASU, NASU, I see Concerned Professionals, I see many

organization at their doggedness that Nigerian children that will be born 21

years later will not have to go through this process of de-humanization. Chief M.K.O Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane, Mrs.

Kudiratu Abiola and many others, paid the ultimate

prices with their lives, that if that is all it takes, then that is what they

will give!

And I see Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as he

is enjoying being alive, Nothing June 12 concerns him anymore. There is God ooooo!!!

O God Almighty, I pray you oh lord, Grant MKO, Abiola, Pal

Alfred Rewane, Pa Abraham Adesanya, thousands of heroes of June 12 who died for

us in the cause of pursing the principles of June 12. Dear heroes and heroines

as you all rest continuous peaceful rest. O God grant these pardon for whatever

wrong they must have done, but bring them to live under your eternal glory.


The Last Interview

MKO Abiola Granted

Excerpts: Nigerian Telegraph

BBC: What is happening in your house? Are you

being arrested?

MKO: I am being arrested. I am just going out

now with the police (MKO and supporters are singing the national anthem)…Hello­.

There is a large crowd here. I am being escorted out to detention by singing

the national anthem.

BBC: Why are they arresting you?

MKO: They are arresting me on an allegation of

felony—namely treason or something like that. They are not doing anything, they

are just taking me away. Please let me go, you know I am delaying them


BBC: And so where are you? Are you in your car?

MKO: I am in my car now.

BBC: Is it police who are with you in your car

or are they escorting you?

MKO: The commissioner of police is in the car

with me and my senior wife (Kudirat) is in the car with me

BBC: Why are they letting you talk on the phone to

the BBC while they are in the middle of arresting you?

MKO: They have come to arrest me, not to arrest

my mouth! (laughs).

BBC: You sound very cheerful about it Chief


MKO: Of course (laughing). It is all part of

democracy here.

BBC: And you are happy to go to the police and

await whatever charges they are going to file against you?

MKO: I am not in any way disturbed by it. Any

sacrifice is in order. If it will bring democracy, peace and posterity to


BBC: Is it possible to speak to the commissioner

of police who is with you in the car?

MKO: I don’t know if the commissioner of police

is authorised to talk; he cannot talk to the press.

BBC: What is your advice now to your supporters?

Many of them we heard a moment ago?

MKO: I told them before I left home to just stay

calm. It is very, very, important that they stay calm.

BBC: So you are appealing for calm? You don’t

want them to take any direct action in your support?


BBC: You still say you are the President of

Nigeria; but it is not much good if you are going to be in jail?

MKO: Well……, Mandela was in jail for 27 years;

Kenyatta was in jail. I suppose that is one of the qualifications you need in

this part of the world. Don’t worry yourself my friend.

Editor’s note: MKO Abiola was never seen in public

again. Nigerian Telegraph

Written by
Dele A. Sonubi
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