Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says Nigeria’s restructuring would “give greater impetus” to the unity of the country and “consolidate” the thriving democracy.

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

Atiku said it was a traumatising period which caused many Nigerians to question the unity of the country.

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.

In a statement on Sunday, Atiku’s media office quoted him as saying 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,” it 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 MKO 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”.

Sources: The Cable/Leadership