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 Youth Group To Buhari: Keep Your Posthumous Awards, Apologise To Yoruba Nation

The Odua Youth Coalition (OYC) has lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari for his plan to bestow posthumous honours on Chief MKO Abiola and Gani Fawehinmi, 25 years after the annulment of an election widely believed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history.

The group expressed disappointment that the posthumous titles (GCFR and GCON) conferred on the two nationalists came when all they fought for were been ignored and disregarded by the government.

In a statement obtained by SaharaReporters in Akure, Ondo State, on Thursday, the group described Buhari’s posthumous honours as insulting, unacceptable and a flagrant abuse of power and legality.

“It is shocking to point out that these posthumous titles, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR) and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger(GCON), granted Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi respectively, came when all what these two outstanding Yoruba sons fought for and against are being brazenly ignored, overlooked or deliberately disregarded,” read the statement, signed by OYC National President, Tayo Akintade Oluyi, and Oluwagbenga Ajongbolo, the National Publicity Secretary.

“As students of history, we at the Oodua Youth Coalition recall that in the early days of the late internationally known military dictator, General Sani Abacha, our own war viceroy, Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, was arrested and charged for treason and the plot to forcefully take over government. About the same time, then General Muhammadu Buhari was appointed to head the newly created Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

“For the next four years or thereabouts, General Muhammadu Buhari was everywhere in Nigeria bringing in funds and remitting 25% of the annual revenue of PTF to the military government while our MKO Abiola was languishing in jail until his suspicious death on July 7th, 1998. The lanky, gap-toothed soldier couldn’t prevail on his boss to release our Aare Ona Kakanfo.

“On 22nd of May 2018, just a week before the ‘former’ Democracy Day, President Buhari had lambasted us for insulting his former boss, Sani Abacha. He also lampooned us for having differing opinions of his dead master. He didn’t care what we said about the dreaded general. He was angry we were calling for the head of the man who jailed, killed and/or attempted to kill our Yoruba leaders. Olusegun Obasanjo. Oladipo Diya. Abraham Adesanya. Bola Ige. Olusegun Osoba. ‘Bola Tinubu.

“Even the darling and daring wife of MKO, Kudirat Abiola, was gunned down on the streets of Lagos in 1996. Muhammadu Buhari was in that government! Yet, on the May 29th, 2018, which the President celebrated with drums rolled out and a public holiday declared, our heroes of democracy were never mentioned.

“The iconic June 12 was conspicuously missing. We didn’t hear anything about MKO Abiola. The struggles and hustles that followed were forgotten. The hunting and hounding of freedom fighters weren’t interesting stories. NADECO was omitted. The arrests and imprisonments of dissenting voices no longer mattered. And seven days later, all these were resurrected and suddenly President Muhammadu Buhari remembered the late legal icon and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi.”

The group affirmed that it would not commend the Federal Government for honouring the two legends until the true tenets of democracy are practised in the country by elected leaders.

It also maintained that the Yoruba youth would only accept the honours if Chief MKO is declared authentic winner of the June 12, 1993 election and the eight-point complaint of Gani Fawehinmi is fully addressed.

“On the 15th of December, 2008, the legal luminary had written a long letter in response to the national honour bestowed on him,” it said.

“Then President Umaru Musa Yar’adua had listed his name as one of the fortunate Nigerians to have been awarded an OFR (Order of the Federal Republic) in recognition of his relentless and tireless efforts at reshaping Nigeria. He rejected it and highlighted eight (8) wants before he could change his position:

1. The abolition of poverty from the face of our country.

2. The unqualified need to preserve, defend and protect the fundamental human rights.

3. The governance of our country through democratic processes.

4. The subjection of everybody and everything to and under the Rule of Law.

5. The right of the people to free and qualitative education at all levels.

6. The right of the people to free and qualitative health services and facilities.

7. The strengthening of our economy through sound development of infrastructures including power generation (electricity), good roads, good and modern rail system across the length and breadth of Nigeria, good water way transportation system.

8. The overall duties of all Nigerians and governments (local, states and federal) to make Nigeria a corruption free country by fighting corruption with all our might and mind.

“Late Gani Fawehinmi would be turning in his grave now looking at the posthumous insult his former friend is dishing out to him.

“He would be disturbed by how a man, whom he once praised and hailed and who has failed in all ramifications, would continue to subject his hard-earned reputation to public ridicule.

“If he were alive today, he would have distanced himself from President Buhari, who has consistently and continuously worked against humanity and the eight points he stated in his rejection letter almost 10 years ago”.”

Credit : Sahara Reporter

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