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.
Ambode expressed optimism that the monument will forever crystallise what he stood for in his lifetime.
A press statement signed by Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, says that Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the statue at the MKO Abiola Gardens 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 of the state in particular, adding that MKO Abiola deserves the best from the state as Lagos was his success story.
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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-building.
“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/
“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.”
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 also for declaring June 12 as the Democracy Day.
He also thanked the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for standing solidly behind the struggle.