Sunday 12 June 2016

June 12: No Holiday in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo

The usual fanfare in marking the famous June 12, 1993 election in honour of the late philanthropist and politician, Cheif MKO Abiola may not be so this year as investigations have come to show. 

Chief MKO Abiola

Indications have emerged that this year’s celebration of the anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election in the South-West may not be marked with the usual.

Unlike what obtained before, only Osun State declared a public holiday for the event while Lagos will only hold a talk cum symposium. Other states, investigations, revealed, have no definite programmes lined up for the day. There are six states in the South-West geo-political zone.

In Ekiti, Governor Ayodele Fayose said he would not declare a public holiday in Ekiti State to celebrate June 12.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, simply said, “No” when asked by our correspondent if the governor would declare a public holiday.

Adelusi did not give a reason for the decision.

The Ondo State Government said it did not declare a public holiday to commemorate June 12 because the day fell on a Sunday which is a resting day for public and private workers.

But the state Commissioner for information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said apart from the day being a Sunday, the state has a special way of celebrating June 12.

He said, “ We have our own special way of marking June 12, tomorrow (today) will mark four years of our Free Shuttle Bus Scheme and what it stands for is to ensure that we democratise access to good things of life and we want to ensure that we use the instrumentality of government to help the less-privileged.

“Abiola’s philosophy when he was alive was egalitarianism; life abundance for all. It is not about organising events to mark the day, it is about practising the tenet, and the practice can be seen in our programme in Ondo State.”

The Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, told one of our correspondents that the state government would not declare Monday a work-free day in marking this year’s June 12 celebration.

Adeoluwa said all the events for June 12 would be held on Sunday.

He disclosed that there would be democracy walk by government officials, civil society organisations, and students, among others to the Oke-Ido ancestral home of the late Abiola.

He said, “Every June 12 of each year is declared a work-free day in the state. This year it fell on a Sunday, and we shall mark it on that day. We will not kill another working day by declaring Monday another work-free day.”

A source in the Oyo State Government said there was no event slated for the celebration of the day by the state government.

“As far as I am concerned, I am not aware of any event or activity slated for the day by the government. I am also not aware that a public holiday may be declared,” the source told one of our correspondents.

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