Prominent political and pro-democracy figures will, on 12 June, converge on the Lagos home of the late Chief MKO Abiola, to lay wreaths commemorating his sacrifice to the actualization of democracy in the country. This was disclosed in a press statement issued by the June 12 Democracy Movement, major conveners of June 12 Democracy Day Anniversary.
Signed by Oluwabori Obafemi, media adviser to the movement, the statement said the event, which is the 23rd edition, will feature the traditional tribute session, prayers for the country and laying of wreaths at Abiola's tomb.
Among those expected to speak at the event are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is scheduled to represent President Muhammadu Buhari and himself; All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Itse Sagay, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd.), Mr. Femi Falana, Professor Pat Utomi and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals.
Also expected at the event are Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information; Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly; Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi, widow of Chief Gani Fawehinmi; Mr. Dele Momodu, Mrs Ayo Obe, Reverend Moses Iloh, Prof Ishaq Lakin Akintola, Lady Elishama Ideh, labour and civil society activists, top government functionaries, youth and student organisations, women leaders as well as members of the media from across the country.
This year's anniversary themed: ‘Hope ’93, June 12 Elections & Popular Change in Nigeria’, said the organisers, will begin at 1 pm on Sunday, 12 June at No 42 /46 MKO Abiola Crescent, off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
“The June 12 Democracy Day commemoration is an annual event in Nigeria traditionally organized for solemn reflections on the struggles and sacrifices of both living and fallen heroes and heroines of the current democracy in Nigeria in a conscious attempt to further sensitize the Nigerian people about the history and the best trajectory forward for Democracy and good governance in Nigeria|," the statement explained.
Abiola, winner of the annulled 1993 presidential election (popularly called June 12), was detained by the military government of the late General Sani Abacha for insisting on the revalidation of his mandate. He later died in detention.