Lawyer restates call for immortalisation of Abiola
The clamour for the immortalisation of the acclaimed winner of the June 12 Presidential election, late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola continued in Ibadan as a legal practitioner, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) called on the Federal Government to do the needful and honour the late business mogul in the most befitting and rancour-free manner.
Fagbemi who was the guest speaker at the annual June 12 Lectures, organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council at the Press Centre, Iyaganku and titled: “June 12, 1993 and March 28, 2015: Similarities, Dissimilarities and Expectations” however cautioned that the immortalisation should be devoid of any political undertone.
Citing the protest that greeted an attempt by Former President Goodluck Jonathan to rename the University of Lagos(UNILAG) as Moshood Abiola University(MAU), the legal luminary said, “I would like the Federal Government to officially recognise the day and the man, in a situation devoid of any political undertone, as was done when the University of Lagos was reportedly renamed in honour of M.K.O Abiola.
The government as a matter of urgency must immortalise him in the most befitting and rancour-free manner, as he is a man of peace and unity.”
Fagbemi, who juxtaposed the historical June 12 presidential election that abortively produced Abiola with the March 28, 2015 presidential election that produced President Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to Nigerians to keep the spirit of June 12 alive by supporting Buhari in his quest to provide transformational leadership for the country.
“On the whole, with the new dispensation, I see a Nigeria that would be a pride of everyone, a Nigeria where we shall all have good life aplenty, where opportunities shall abound and ultimately where the views of the masses shall, never again be taken for granted.
To me, that is what the last election has bequeathed to all of us. We must therefore strive to guard it jealously as it is by doing so that we can keep the spirit of June 12 alive,” he said.
Fagbemi also took a swipe at the then Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) for annulling the June 12, 1993 presidential election, describing it as a legislative judgment that defied any common sense and rational logic.
“The decision of the IBB government to annul the election therefore remains one of the most unjustifiable and provocative decisions ever taken by a government anywhere around the globe.
It was such a legislative judgment that defied any common sense and rational logic. I cannot find any other conclusion upon an x-ray of the contending issues leading to the unpopular annulment.
“The annulment clearly stood reason on its head. Here was a government that enacted a decree specifically for the conduct of an election. Apart from that, it also set up, like every other civilised government, an election petition tribunal, saddled with the responsibility of addressing any perceived irregularity that may be complained of the election. “Alas, instead of allowing the contestants to approach the tribunal with their grievances, our General IBB simply wiped out everything that has to do with the election.
He blocked any access to the tribunal, which he unilaterally created. It was a situation in which he created the law and did not allow the same law to take its course. IBB became the law himself. It was an era of pure legislative, executive and judicial rascality.”
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