Dele Momodu, journalist and publisher of Ovation Magazine, says Nigeria is currently in a bad state because June 12 was “killed”.
Momodu made the remark at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos during the public presentation and launch of his three books – Pendulum Volume I and II and Fighting Lions.
The book launch according to him, was organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election and also to commemorate the 20th anniversary of MKO Abiola’s death.
He said the current crop of leaders do not have the interests of the masses at heart, hence the failure in governance.
“Talking about what happened to Nigeria, we won’t be celebrating Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola if there was nothing special about him,” he said.
“Nigeria died the day we killed June 12. I want to emphasise that Nigeria died the day we killed June 12, because on June 12 there was no discrimination.”
“We wanted a Nigeria where everybody is a Nigerian. That was the whole basis for Chief Abiola going in for the elections.
“Today, we have leaders who never made a success of their own lives. You cannot give what you don’t have…we want to practice capitalism without capital. We want to live like America without going through the nitty gritty of what America went through.
Momodu with Abiola’s family members
“We have people who prefer to be local champions than global citizens. In Nigeria today, we have people who have venom embedded in them… that venom is so bad that they cannot do anything but be vindictive. So that is what went wrong with us. Chief Abiola will be so disappointed because he worked and labored all his life for the unity of Nigeria.”
Commenting on the events leading to June 12 and the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death, Doyin Abiola, wife of the late politician and philanthropist said: “What happened, happened because we allowed it, we all allowed it. What happened should never happen again in this country and it depends on you the people.
Doyin Abiola: What happened should never have happened.
“You have the power, you all have the power as the people to put people in power and send them packing. We must cherish what we’ve got— the voice of the people.”
The colleagues of the author gave brief reviews of the books while recounting experiences shared with Momodu at different times of their career.
Segun Adeniyi, former spokesman to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, reviewed Pendulum Volume I, Simon Kolawole, chief executive officer, Cable Newspaper Limited, reviewed Pendulum Volume II, while Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, managing director, ARISE News Channel, reviewed Fighting Lions.
Tunde Bakare, pastor of Latter Rain Aseembly and Femi Otedola, billionaire businessman, were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.