June 12: Late OPC Leader, Dr Fredrick Fasehun's Struggle Must Not Be In Vain - Prince Osibote
The President General of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Aare Prince Osibote has challenged Nigerian political leaders and elites to ensure that selfless struggle of the Late founder and president of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun to restore democracy to Nigeria is not in vain. He recounts several penal servitude that his predecessor was subjected to in his struggle to reinstate democracy in Nigeria. Aare Prince Osibote in his democracy day speech salutes the courage of Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and his wife, Late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, whom he said were the true face of the struggle.
Below is his full statement:
"It has been a long journey filled with mixed fortunes since the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election by the military establishment in Nigeria.
Many paid the supreme price for demanding justice, equity and fairness over a criminal action with the attendant dire consequences and turmoil.
Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, and his wife, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, were the true face of the struggle, Their painful but avoidable deaths were as wicked and callous as the unwarranted killings of many other pro-June 12 protesters mowed down by bullets procured with public funds, meant to protect the citizens and the sovereignty of Nigeria, Unfortunately, the critical mass of Nigerians that borne the brunt of the genuine struggle for freedom, equality, sanity, prosperity and nationhood writhe in anguish, tears and sorrow till date. It shows we have not learnt the hard lessons of the bitter, bloody struggle, with the basic thlngs of life hugely in short supply.
The hard labour of the Late founder and president of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun, who was arrested, caged in ikoyi cemetery for proclaiming June 12, remains threatened, going by the conduct, indiscretions and opportunism of a gluttonous elite.
Covid-19 has almost become a leveller. It has also become their albatross. Our leaders can no longer junket around world business capital cities, living flamboyantly and in opulence, while millions of Nigerians wallow in poverty and want, almost three decades after the criminal annulment of June 12, adjudged to be the most free, fair and credible election in the history of the most populous Black country in the world.
Democracy Day and democracy itself in Nigeria must be based evidently on the welfar.e, happiness and well-being of the majority of the people, Those that despise the genuine comfort of Nigerians that made unimaginable sacrifices through the prolonged June 12 struggle to pave the way for democracy in the country on the altar of myopic personal and class interest should have a rethink, mend their ways, have a change of heart, so as to avert the wrath of the citizens and indeed the anger of God. They have succeeded in planting time bombs and laying landmines across the nation, with grave implications for themselves and their families and surrogates.
Democracy Day will and shall only be meaningful if the symbolism of June 12: security of lives and property, food security, affordable housing, healthcare, education, portable water, rural development, energy supply and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed in Nigeria.
No sacrifice should be too much by the political and economic elite to make to provide, uphold and sustain those fundamental freedoms and needs of distraught and dehumanised Nigerians, including the most vulnerable - children, women and the physically challenged in the society. It is then that the spirit of June 12, MKO Abiola, many unsung heroes and heroines of the painful struggle, as well as Democracy Day will be impactful and engraved in the subconscious of the citizens and the world about Nigeria.
It's time to stop the subsisting order of all motion and no movement".