By Ajibola Abayomi,
June 12, 2018.
A member of the Senate from Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani has faulted the decision to honour some of members of the defunct Social Democratic Peoples (SDP) listed for national award alongside the posthumous Grand Commander of Federal Republic (GCFR) of Nigeria conferred on the winner of June 12 presidential election, late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale (MKO) Abola by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The senator labelled many of those invited to the Aso rock for the ceremony as betrayers of actualization of June 12 mandate Nigerians gave to Abiola.
According to him, apart from the few gallant politicians like Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Frank Kokori, Kunle Ajibade, members of the civil society groups and few others, he said several members of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) were traitors.
The Senator made the comment in Lagos at the 25th anniversary of the June 12 election organized by the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council.
Sani who was the chairman of the occasion praised the president for the initiative but was quick to warn that “we appreciate the honour late Abiola but we reject the political side of it. The President has done what most of his predecessor has failed to do. He has done the unthinkable.
He urged Nigerians not to be carried away with the euphoria of June 12 celebration and rather focus on the essence of the poll which he listed as election, annulment, struggle and legacy.
Sani lambasted those he described as political opportunists enlisted for honour by President Buhari calling them real betrayers of late Abiola’s struggles and ideals.
According to him, Abiola stood firmly for unity, peace, progress and prosperity.
“Abiola while alive spread his wealth beyond the South West and get across to all the sections of this country. How many of the SDP members have bothered to check on his family to know how they were faring after his death?
Asked Sani, ” Since when have you read any release in the press from those going to be honoured because of June 12? I asked Shehu Yar’Adua while we were in prison that why did the people perceived that he was anti- June 12 struggle?
“He told me in prison that he was perceived as anti June 12 because he advised Abiola on two things which he never did. He said he told him to choose Atiku Abubarkar instead of Kingibe as his runing mate because he reasoned that he needed a deputy that could fight like him when the need arises.
“Again, Yar’Adua said he told MKO to let the core agitation for June 12 to start from the north. Of course Abiola was right to chose South West because if he did, the struggle would have long been forgotten.
“Abiola according to Yar’Adua was proverbial in his response saying, you don’t go to war without solidifying your base, which was why South West became the mouth piece of June 12 till date.”
Not done with the betrayers of Abiola, Senator Sani noted that majority of the old SDP members never bothered about the well being of the family of the deceased saying: “None of them in the last 25 years have attended any June 12 anniversary. They are now interested in June 12 because Buhari is for June 12.
“Many of the so-called SPD members not the SDP of today were traitors who worked with the late head of state, General Sani Abacha to kill Abiola while in prison.”
He said for Nigerians to truly appreciate the commitment of the President to democracy, he advised him to channeled his energy towards ending violence and killings across the country as the Nigerians look forward to another election.