An Afenifere Chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu on Thursday described the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993, Presidential election, late MKO Abiola as a man who started his political life on the wrong side, but quickly readjusted and keyed into the “right side of the masses.”
Okurounmu while speaking at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Democracy Day and June 12, said Abiola was like biblical Saul who turned Paul and became a strong force in Nigerian politics.
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The Senator, who represented Ogun Central between 1999 and 2003, said the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993, Presidential election fought for democracy and laid down his life for the country.
“He (Abiola) was a businessman.
“He started his political life on the wrong side.
“But anyway, he immediately saw what people before him had seen.
“He saw Nigeria in its true picture and when he saw Nigeria in its true picture, he changed, came to the right side and he was truly supported by the masses.
“When a Saul becomes a Paul, he becomes a forceful personality.
“So, Abiola was a Saul in politics who later became a Paul.
“He had to fight for the interest of Nigerians.
“He fought for democracy, poverty, equality, and justice for all Nigerians because he saw that Nigerians were being denied all these things.
“He was willing to give up his wealth and used all the opportunities he had to sacrifice his life for Nigeria. He was a martyr,” Okurounmu said.
The Senator, however, expressed worry that democracy, which Abiola and other Nigerians fought for has eluded the country.
According to him, basic tenets of democracy including the right to choose leaders, free and fair elections are not present in Nigeria’s democratic setting.
“We have not got a democracy in Nigeria.
“It is still a work in progress.
“We are still very far away from democracy,” he said.