BEING THE TEXT OF A SPEECH IN HONOR OF MOSHOOD KASHIMAWO ABIOLA ON THE OCCASION OF JUNE 12, DELIVERED BY COMRADE BAMGBOSE TOMIWA (TOMMYTEE), THE
June 12, 2019.
All glory belong to God Almighty
I’m standing on the mandate bestowed on me by millions of visible and invisible students of this great Ogun state, to commemorate the remembrance of June 12 and the Hero, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, being a day that Nigeria and Nigerians got their true democracy right, through the most free and fairest democratic election ever conducted in Nigeria.
As we all know, June 12 is all about Moshood Abiola and democratic election. Moshood Abiola’s contributions to the future of Nigerian politics by way of his response to the annulment of his mandate on June 23, 1993 can not be over emphasised.
Abiola’s courageous insistence against the cancellation of the mandate given to him by Nigerian voters was very cherished and appreciated by him, hence his refusal not to back out from the struggle until death took him away.
Moshood Abiola was no doubt a courageous man. He has exhibited many qualities that described him as an important man that the masses of our great country truly wanted. He made the people realised that changes do not occur in countries where courage is in short supply.
Even at the point of death, Abiola did not surrender his June 12 mandate, at any price.
Abiola saw himself as a custodian of a sacred mandate that was freely given to him by Nigerians. He made it know that the only thing that can make him surrender the mandate that was given to him is if the people that gave him the mandate so demand.
And by the virtue of the mandate given to Abiola, he courageously confronted the decision of the Federal Military Government to cancel the results of the elections June 12, 1993 and described the decision as ‘unpatriotic’, which is capable of causing undue and unnecessary confusion in the country.
Abiola’s insistence to never betrayed his promise and mandate given to him was a great zeal and courage. It also points to many other admirable qualities that are in short supply among our ruling elites today: consistency, perseverance, honesty, sincerity of purpose and bravery.
Unfortunately today, many Nigerian politicians who supported General Sani Abacha’s dictatorship are now paying glowing tributes to Abiola, and admitting without shame that their support was based on fear of Abacha.
Abiola was one of too small a class of the fearless. He was the first civilian that helped to put the army on notice that the country’s patience with military dictatorship is growing thinner and thinner.
June 12 is also the reason for the encouragement and proliferation of pro-democracy groups and other organizations of civil society.
Unlike what many of our politicians are doing today, Abiola did not fall for all sort of simultaneously braggadocios and all manners of shakaras and intimidations that the military government descended on him, rather, he was physically available against all odds of the military government.
Abiola was one individual that has provided the best specimen of the most strongly willed and passiveness in the face of injustice. His strong opposition and societal displays against wrong policies and annulment of the most free and fairest democratic election will forever be remembered.
Abiola’s exemplary courage to die for people’s mandate was lasting contribution to the future of one Nigeria. What he died for is more than the chance to become the president of Nigeria. He died for the voice of the ordinary Nigerian voter. In this sense, his struggle and death, symbolically shot the first bullet for Nigeria’s second struggle for independence and self determination from internal colonialism.
Nigeria can only truly be one great country when this war for the right of individuals is permanently won.
With respect to the Nigerian military, June 12 has also exposed the impotent nature of the Nigerian Military government.
Then, our military was such that shed blood to preserve the nation due to Abacha’s autocracy.
June 12 is a veritable lesson on the moral and practical bankruptcy of pan-Africanism, a concept that was typically manipulated to condemn people’s choice and oneness.
Abiola is not here today, but his sacrifices and zeal to liberate the country and sustain true democracy is the bane of today.
This is again, a clarion call to all our leaders, from national level to the least office, to imbibe the spirit of oneness, courage and sincerity, knowing fully well that one day, history will have something to say about everyone.
On behalf of the Great Nigerian students in Ogun state and Nigeria at large, I hereby call on all our leaders to stay as one strong and respected authority.
I hereby call on all our leaders to give the Nigerian students and other ethnic groups a sense of belonging in their administrations,
I hereby call on all our leaders to always remember the great sacrifices of our heroes and build the future for us in the way Moshood Abiola, that most courageous of all Nigerian integrationists, longed and worked to see it, because, sooner or later, the mantle of leadership will still come back to us, and yoruba will say: “ase sile ni abo waba”.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Long live Ogun state,
Long live NANS Ogun JCC,
Long live Nigerian Students.
Viva Aluta, Viva Ascerta.
Yours in Pragmatic Struggle,
– Comrade Bamgbose Tomiwa
– NANS Ogun JCC Chairman
– June 12, 2019.