June 12: Stop Blaming North For Abiola’s Death – Arewa Youths

MKO AbiolaAs many Nigerians commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election yesterday, Sunday, a northern youth group known as Arewa Youth Congress, has refuted claims that the north was responsible for the death of Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Abiola, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, was adjudged to have won the election, which was widely acknowledged as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s political history but was annulled by then military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
He was later arrested and detained by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha for declaring himself Nigeria’s lawful president.
On the day he was supposed to be released by the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar regime on July 7, 1998 following the death of Abacha, Chief Abiola died in suspicious circumstances.
Speaking at the 23rd anniversary lecture of June 12, 1993‎ election organised by Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in Lagos yesterday, the national coordinator of the AYC, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, stressed that late M.K.O Abiola remained a Nationalist respected across the country and it will not be fair to keep using the north as a scape-goat for his death.
“‎Abiola was a Nationalist. He was respected across Nigeria. I disagreed with the notion that he was killed by the North. North did not kill Abiola”, Shettima insisted.
The national coordinator of the northern youth group recalled that during the 1993 presidential election, “our people (northerners) voted for him en masse, ignoring the candidacy of their own son, Bashir Tofa, who even lost his constituency to Abiola”.‎