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Today In History: June 12, 1993, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola Was Voted In As The president of Nigeria

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Victoria Maduabuchi

June 12, 1993, was the day Nigerians came together in agreement to vote, Chief M.K.O as the president of Nigeria.

However, on 21st June 1993, the former military president, retired General Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the election and set Nigeria on the path of crisis, which led to many deaths including the death of M.K.O Abiola and wife, Kudrirat Abiola.

June 12th is yearly celebrated in memory of Chief M.K.O. Abiola.

MKO Abiola, was however not the only casualty of the June 12 elections. Before his death in July 1998, many pro-democracy activists were randomly arrested, brutalized, maimed and killed by the despotic Abacha regime.

Many notable Nigerians also had to run into exile, with some of them even betrayed by friends and returned to Nigeria to be imprisoned or as was said, ‘disappeared’.

June 12, is thus a day to remember chief MKO Abiola and other democracy martyrs.

Abiola may have himself, been a frontline businessman and formerly friends with some of the military officers who later snatched his electoral victory from him, but June 12 transcended Abiola’s personal ambitions.

It became a popular cause of the Nigerian masses and many of them suffered in many ways to see to the actualization of that mandate that never came.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar said on a goodwill message sent to all Nigerians describing the late MKO Abiola, the leading personality of the June 12 struggle, as a national “hero and patriot” deserving of accolades and honour by Nigerians.

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