Sunday Ode, Abuja
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka said Tuesday he was taken off guard by Buhari ‘s apology saying it was a dimension he didn’t expect.
He spoke as a guest at the posthumous award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) bestowed upon late MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said : “It is a beginning. l do not agree that this is closure to the event of June 12. There are far too many traumatized individuals walking around the streets, pauperized individuals walking around as a result of the policies and attitudes of one of the most brutal dictator. In fact, the most brutal dictators that this country has ever known. ”
He said closure will come by responding to those traumatized individuals or victims of unspeakable tortures, some of whom were compelled to watch even their beloved ones being tortured, on behalf of a man who was determined not just to demonize, to dominate his environment, but also to dehumanize that environment.
His words : ” so that we do not forget the nameless, the unsung heroes and heroines of that struggle. A number of names have already been listed but l will like to include one of the pioneers, the instigators of the physical confrontations with that dictator, Comrade Ola Oni, who mobilized a number of people and fought the goons and slaves and surrogates of that dictator in that auspiciously named stadium in Ibadan, Liberty Stadium.
“But above all, l want us always to remember that individual which we are principally celebrating today, the man who reappeared and represented himself, who did not understand the word surrender, saying my name is Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, l am back to reclaim my mandate.
On his part, Chief Frank Kokori, said Buhari was the least person expected to honour Abiola, saying it was a confirmation that Buhari has a great soul.
He said, “If this is coming 25 years later, it means one day your your country will remember you because some of us felt when we came out of Abacha’s gulag and we were not recognized, I just felt what sort of country is this. Like my personal experience as one of the most famous prisoner of conscience in the world, I saw that my country did not even appreciate the four years I spent in one of the worst cells in the world. And we did all these for our country and the country did not recognize us.
“So, now we are happy and we are very grateful to our President, the least president we expected who should have done this, Muhammadu Buhari. We thought people like Obasanjo should have done that for us long time ago. There was so much pressure not Muhammadu Buhari, we least expected it, so in doing it for us, he has a great soul and we appreciate it.”
Fawehinmi’s wife Ganiyat on how she felt about the honour done her husband said, “I was a bit disturbed. Every time the security will come, turn our house upside down, even his office was broken into, they took away many files during IBB regime and they were not returned till date. So I just thanked God that I am alive to witness today and I know that my husband will turn in the grave for this June 12 that is being actualised because he really fought and died for it.
“I believe God has a purpose for it, I believe that is how God wants it because you can’t run a race ahead of God. So, God has a purpose of actualising it today which is exactly 25 years after Hole ‘93 when Abiola wanted to be the President.”
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