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June 12: Buhari’s gesture has awakened many heroes of Nigeria’s struggle, says Abiola’s daughter

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Hafsat Abiola-Costello, daughter of late MKO Abiola, has applauded Muhammadu Buhari, the President  of Nigeria for recognising her father and for changing Nigeria’s Democracy Day to June 12.

Speaking on Tuesday, during the Special National Honours Investiture held in commemoration of the Democracy Day in Abuja, Abiola-Costello said Buhari’s gesture has awakened many heroes of Nigeria’s struggle, and a new army for the fight for Democracy to prevail.

“By recognising June 12, you have awakened so many heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s struggle who have shown (because they stood firm on June 12) that money cannot buy them. You have called up your own new Army for the defence of this country.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, this fight will not take you as it has taken MKO but let us fight and bring about the conclusion of MKO’s struggle that the Nigerian people should be the ones in full control of this country,” she said.

Abiola-Costello, who is also the daughter of late Kudirat Abiola in an emotion-laden voice recalled how her father was endeared to Nigeria. She recalled how her father prepared to deliver his inauguration speech, which he sadly, never lived to deliver.

“My mom told me of how he will stand in front of the mirror, preparing how he will speak to Nigerians in his inauguration speech. The results were coming in and he thought he was going to be able to deliver it (his inauguration speech). I will start, ‘Fellow Nigerians…’ But he never really go that Fellow Nigerians and he will start again. He kept struggling to think of what to say to the people of Nigeria.

“All MKO wanted to say to the people of Nigeria and all MKO ever did say to the people of Nigeria is ‘I love you, the people of Nigeria, I believe in you, the people of Nigeria.”

Abiola-Costello proudly added in her speech that MKO was a man of the people, no matter the tribe.

“He was born Yoruba but he loved Hausa people, Kanuri people, Efik people, Igbo people. He loved all. You just needed to be a Nigerian and MKO was your man. There were so many things he did to show this, that was why the people of Nigeria.”