Atiku 'Restructuring will unite, develop Nigeria,' Ex-VP says

Atiku commended Nigerians for moving past the events of June 12, 1993, and creating a place for democracy.

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Atiku Abubakar

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A former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, says Nigeria's restructuring would "give greater impetus" to the unity of the country.

Commenting ahead of the 24th anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993, election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola, he said the year was a traumatising period which caused many Nigerians to question the unity of the country.

In a statement issued by his media office on Sunday, June 11, Atiku commended Nigerians for moving past the events of June 12, 1993, and creating a place for democracy.

He noted that the annulled election and its aftereffects cannot be forgotten because of the unity displayed by Nigerians.

"The former vice-president and Waziri Adamawa states that June 12 and the events that brought it are part of our country's history and cannot be forgotten, especially because of the unity and comradeship displayed by Nigerians on that election day in 1993," the statement read.

"Atiku Abubakar recalls that June 12 traumatised Nigerians and made some people to question the unity and oneness of the country and whether true democracy can take root in the country.

"The waziri commends Nigerians for moving beyond the challenges thrown up by June 12 and putting in place a democratic system of government that has lasted for 18 years.

"He says that it is a testimony to the innate democratic nature of Nigerians that today, democracy is flourishing in the country adding that restructuring of the country as being demanded by some well-meaning Nigerians would further consolidate democracy and give greater impetus to the unity and development of the country."

Atiku described the late Abiola as "a national ‘Hero and Patriot’ deserving of accolades and honour by Nigerians. He calls on the federal government to pay the necessary tribute to the late chief Abiola of blessed memory by naming a befitting national institution after him."

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Moshood Abiola, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), is widely believed to have defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention in the annulled presidential election of 1993.

Abiola was arrested in 1994 by the military government of Sani Abacha for declaring himself Nigeria’s president. He died on July 7, 1998, few days before his release from prison.

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