We will soon hold an Abiola day to celebrate the late icon of democracy – Ambode declares, unveils massive statue (photos)
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has unveiled a 46-feet statue the adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, expressing optimism that the monument will forever crystallize what the late politician stood for in his lifetime.
reports that Governor Ambode spoke at the unveiling of the statue at the MKO Abiola Garden in Alapere, Ketu sying it was in the tradition of the government to recognise and remember heroes and heroines who contributed to the greatness of the nation and the state in particular.
The governor said that MKO Abiola deserves the best from the State as Lagos was his success story.
The governor noted that a statue was previously sited at the location, but that the current administration decided to erect bigger statues for MKO Abiola and late rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi to properly situate their immense contribution to nation building.
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“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 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.
According to Ambode, MKO Abiola was 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.
Abdul Mumuni Abiola, who responded on behalf of the family, 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 the posthumous award conferred on his father and for declaring June 12, as the democracy day, as well as the national leader of the 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.
Earlier, Ambode had spoken at an event organized in Lagos to honour Abiola.
He honoured those who participated in the struggle including Gen Alani Akinrinade, Prof Wole Soyinka, Ambassador Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and other Nigerians and civil society organizations.