46-Feet Statue of M.K.O Abiola was unveiled to mark June 12 – Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday
unveiled a 46-feet statue of Nigeria’s symbol of democracy and
adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election,
Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO), expressing
optimism that the monument will forever crystallize what he stood
for in his lifetime.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the statue at the
MKO Abiola Garden in Alapere, Ketu said it was in the tradition of
the State Government to recognise and remember heroes and
heroines who contributed to the greatness of the nation and the
State in particular, adding that MKO Abiola deserves the best from
the State as Lagos was his success story.
Alluding to the fact that a statue was previously sited at the
location, the Governor said that his administration decided to erect
bigger statues for MKO Abiola and late Rights Activist, Chief Gani
Fawehinmi to properly situate their immense contribution to nation
“There was a statue done by my predecessor, Babatunde Raji
Fashola but in the divine world, some things are more glorious
than what you think and so we decided at the end of 2016 that we
should do bigger statues for Chief Gani Fawehinmi and MKO
Abiola since almost everybody passing and entering Lagos go
through this particular Ojota axis and so we started late in 2016
that we should build something bigger and so it took us about a
year to do this. By the time we did the one for Gani to celebrate his
posthumous birthday on April 22, we also agreed that we should
unveil that of MKO Abiola today, June 12.
“But just as if God has a way of crowning all efforts to mark the
25th Anniversary of June 12, our President, President
Muhammadu Buhari has deemed it fit to give our own MKO Abiola
the highest honour in the land, GCFR and that is why we believe
strongly that your presence here is not just for this statue but it is
also historic which we would always remember in the annals of the
history and politics of this country that sooner than later, there
would be one day we would mark as MKO Abiola Day.
“We are very happy to gather here today at the MKO Abiola garden
to unveil this statue, a monument that will forever crystallize his
legacy, serves as a reminder to the greatness that Chief Abiola
represents in our socio-political landscape,” the Governor said.
He described MKO Abiola as a man who transcended race, tribe
and religion, adding that the late philanthropist appealed to all
Nigerians who voted massively for him during the 1993
Presidential election.
“Sadly, he lost his life trying to secure his mandate. Even though
he was from another State, Lagos was his home. And we recognize
his contribution to our State and our democracy,” Governor
Ambode said.
Responding on behalf of the family, MKO Abiola’s son, Abdul
Mumuni Abiola thanked Governor Ambode and the Lagos State
Government for the honour done the Abiola family, saying the
statue was indeed befitting to honour his late father.
“God is great. I heard about this statue six months ago and I was
called to come and see it and when I got here, I saw a statue of
three-storey building. This is indeed massive. The family of late
MKO Abiola really appreciates this and we want to thank the
Governor,” Abdul Mumuni said.
He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for
posthumous award conferred on his father and declaring June 12
as the Democracy Day, as well as the National Leader of All
Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for
standing solidly behind the struggle.
“We thank the President for doing what he did. This statue was
planned before the President did what he did and so we want to
thank Governor Ambode for this,” he said.
Governor Ambode, who earlier spoke at a symposium held at the
Blue Roof, Lagos Television in Ikeja to commemorate the
25thAnniversary of the June 12, 1993 election, paid glowing
tributes to other comrades who led the struggle from the front
including Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ambassador
Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori,
Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Mr. Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe
Musa and other Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, Trade
and Labour unions.
“We also pay glowing tribute to the beautiful memories of patriots
such as Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Pa
Abraham Adesanya, Chief Michael Enahoro, Chief Alfred Rewane,
Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, General Adeyinka Adebayo and several
others including innocent ordinary Nigerians, young and old who
were murdered in cold blood on the streets of Lagos and in other
major cities of Nigeria. Today, we declare that their sacrifice has
not been in vain,” he said.
The Governor commended Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for being
the pioneer Governor to declare public holiday on June 12
throughout his tenure in office as well as Mr. Babatunde Raji
Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding the tradition,
saying that the occasion attests to their visionary leadership.
Speaking on the theme: “Restructuring: Antidote For Efficient And
Effective Polity,” guest lecturer, Dr. Dele Ashiru of the Department
of Political Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), called for the
amendment of the Constitution to ensure removal of provisions
which inhibit successful running of functional system, especially
revenue sharing formula which he said must be by derivation,
among others.
He also said considering the strategic importance of Lagos to the
country, special attention must be given to the State, adding: “The
Federal Government must wake up and pay Lagos adequately
from the national resource so that the State can continue to play
the role it had been playing in the country.”
He described Lagos as a model and mega city not only in Africa
but the world, and as such all hands must be on deck to work for
its sustenance.
Also, Chairman of June 12 Coalition, Comrade Linus Okoroji
commended the Lagos State Government for sustained
commitment to the June 12 struggle which had yielded fruits with
the recent declaration of the day as Democracy Day in Nigeria and
recognition of MKO Abiola as GCFR.

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  1. Nice

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  3. Ok

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