South-Western States Declare Monday Public Holiday

Ogun, Osun and Ondo state governments have declared Monday, June 12, 2017, a public holiday for civil servants in the states in order to commemorate the 1993 presidential election, which the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola allegedly won.

The election which been adjudged the freest and the fairest in the history of Nigeria was nullified by then military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Friday, declared Monday, June 12, 2017, as a work-free day as has been the state government’s custom in the last six years.

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, Governor Amosun announced the line-up of events to commemorate the day:

“This year’s celebration will feature the annual ‘Democracy Walk,’ which will be led by the governor, starting from the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta at 7 am.

“The walk is expected to take participants through major roads in the state capital to the Abiola family homestead, at Oke-Ido, Gbagura, Abeokuta North Local Government Area, where special prayers and speeches will be made.

“Later in the day, an inspirational stage play, ‘Oju Kelekun’ (farewell to reproach), directed by Prof. Bakare Ojo Rasaki, will be performed at the June 12 Cultural Centre, between 3:45 pm and 6:00 pm,” the statement read.

Similarly, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has also declared Monday, June 12, as a work-free day for its civil servants to mark the 1993 presidential election.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor announced;

“In line with its established policy of observing June 12 of every year as ‘Democracy Day,’ the state government of Osun has declared Monday, June 12, as a public holiday.”

Okanlawon stated that the public holiday became imperative in view of the fact that June 12 marked a watershed in the history of democratic evolution in the country.

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The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has also made the same declaration in his state, asking its workers not to go to work on Monday, June 12, 2017, to honour the widely acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Abiola.

A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, on Friday, Akeredolu said the late Abiola’s supreme sacrifice culminated in the hurried departure of the military from the political scene in 1999.

As part of programmes lined up to celebrate the day, the state government has organised a lecture, with the theme: “June 12: A celebration of courage and resilience.”

Akeredolu further urged politicians across the country to always demonstrate their unquenchable love for the country.

Meanwhile, in Lagos, the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) has announced that its annual June 12 lecture in memory of Late Chief Moshood Abiola would hold on Monday.

In a statement on Friday, the group said the lecture’s theme, “MKO as a Symbol of Freedom in the History of Nigeria’s Democracy,” would be delivered by an Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, Dr. Chiedozie Okoro.

“The June 12 lecture, powered by OPC, will be the 17th edition. It is to commemorate the symbol of Nigeria’s democracy, the late Chief MKO Abiola, who contested in the June 12, 1993, election to become Nigeria’s President,” the statement reads.

Also, the state Office of Civic Engagement has concluded plans to mark the 24<supth Anniversary of late Moshood Abiola’s 1993 acclaimed presidential victory by marking the event in conjunction with the June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations.

According to a statement by Mr. Kehinde Joseph, the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, the Theme for this year’s anniversary tagged: “Development Strategy in Lagos State; A Blue Print for National Development” was precipitated by decisive measures on people-oriented programmes by the State Government which has yielded positive results in the State.

Joseph noted that the annual event has become a converging point for all progressives where issues germane to the successful transition of one Democratic administration to another and the development of the nation are discussed.

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He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to make the day available in order to gather and honour Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s memory.

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