Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan, said former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not immortalize the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, because he would have been misunderstood.
Okupe stated 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.
According to him, only a respected northerner like President Muhammadu Buhari, could honour Abiola and his action would not be greeted with criticism.
“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,” Okupe said.