The Oyo state government has unveiled a statue in honor of the Late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, MKO, as part of activities to celebrate the beacon of hope for Nigerians and champions of the democracy in Nigeria.
Unveiling the statue of Nigeria’s symbol of democracy and adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO), the deputy governor, Bayo Lawal, expressed optimism that the monument will forever crystallize what he stood for in his lifetime.
Lawal, who spoke on Wednesday at the MKO Abiola Garden in Ring Road, Ibadan, acknowledged the good gesture of His Excellency, ‘Seyi Makinde, in erecting the statue of the late statesman who during his time fought for democracy.
He said the struggle he put in place to ensure the democracy, which every one is enjoying today is laudable and well recognized by Oyo State government, adding that he deserves the best from the nation.
Lawal emphasized that it was customary for the State Government to honor and remember individuals who made significant contributions to the greatness of the country.
According to him, the histories of Oyo State and MKO Abiola are intertwined because it is impossible to discuss democracy in Nigeria without mentioning Abiola.
He asserts that: “MKO has been recognized at the national level despite the fact that many administrations have been unable to do so, but the current federal government were able to recognize him just like Oyo state government, and we will continue to recognize his gesture and determination of democracy.
“The statue erection especially now that election is fast approaching, will stand as a reminder that we need to put at the back of our mind that no other system of government is better than democracy and this legacy which MKO Abiola has given us indeed in the Southwest and Nigeria would be sustained.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Oni, said there’s no denying that the story of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic will be incomplete without a mention of the name of MKO Abiola.
“In truth, no honor is enough or too much to celebrate what he means to Nigeria or Nigerians. This majestic statue is a symbol of that legacy.
“The location of this symbol is also strategic being on one of the major roads an entry point into Ibadan metropolis and one named after the honoree himself.
“I have to thanks Mr Adesoji Williams of Jacbeth Multi-links services very specially for his uncommon gesture and the thought behind this project. He has shown that citizens can be catalysts for development in our state.
“It must be mentioned that Mr Williams single handedly funded this project. In appreciation of his perineal efforts to community development is the reason why the governor approved the project and high powered government delegation led by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor to unveil the statue of one of our country’s icon of democracy,” he added.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Oni, the Personal Assistant to Oyo State Governor, Alhaji Akeem Azeez, Chairman Oyo Gaming Board, Mr Olajide Boladuro and the initiator of the statue erection, Mr Adesoji Williams.