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
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
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
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?
MKO: NO, NO, NO, NO.
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