Dr. Doyin Okupe, former Senior Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan, said former President Olusegun Obasanjo would have been misunderstood if he had attempted to honour his kinsman, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola.
Okupe claimed that only a respected northerner who enjoys the respect of his kinsmen like President Muhammadu Buhari could honour Abiola and his action would not be greeted with criticism.
Okupe said this while speaking on the theme, “June 12: The Yoruba race in a reunited Nigeria” at the maiden edition of the commemorative lecture to mark June 12 Democracy Day organised by a former governorship aspirant in Ogun state, Oladipupo Adebutu on Wednesday in Abeokuta.
The public affairs analyst said “One, it is not all that is known that should be said by an elderly person’. Two, nothing can happen in this world until God Almighty ordains it. Three, the politics of Nigeria is so intricate. When they started Sharia in Zamfara, Obasanjo publicly endorsed it and allowed it.
“No northern President can do that effectively without incurring a major riot.
“There is no better person, there is no better government that can institutionalize June 12 except a government headed by a strong northerner otherwise, it will create a serious controversy.
“Buhari by providence has been well-placed. He is not just an ordinary northerner, (he’s) a very strong one that a lot of northerners respect, that even if they disagree (with him) they will not vent their disagreement. They will hold their peace.
“And therefore, it was easier for him to do it. We give God the glory that it has been done. Delay is not denial.”
While speaking at the event, the convener of the programme, Adebutu enjoined the Yorubas to be united, adding that there is a need for evaluation and re-evaluation.
He said, “June 12 means a lot to Nigerians and that is why we are celebrating it today. The efforts late MKO Abiola made to unite all tribes cannot be undermined. He sacrificed for the people.”