AWARD OF GRAND COMMANDER OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC (GCFR): AN HONOUR WELL BESTOWED ON MKO ABIOLA
On 12th day of June, 1993, Nigerians of different tribal and religious background trooped-out and voted en mass for the then presidential candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Moshood Kasimowo Olawale Abiola and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
However, when it had become clear that MKO Abiola won the election, the then Military Government led by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida for reason best known to them cancelled the results of the election and General Sanni Abacha who took over from the interim government put in place by IBB and led by Earnest Shonekan, incarcerated the winner of June 12 election, Chief MKO Abiola.
The act of injustice put the country into a serious crisis until the death of both Chiief MKO Abiola and General Sanni Abacha in 1998 and subsequent return to civil rule.
Since the return to civil rule in 1999, successive governments have refused to acknowledge the results of the election or honour its winner in anyway whatsoever except the failed attempt of president Goodluck Jonathan government to name University of Lagos after Chief MKO Abiola.
Meanwhile, when all hopes seem to have been lost after 25 years of annulment of June 12 election and almost 20 years after the death of Chief MKO Abiola, President Muhammadu Buhari summoned the uncommon courage by not only recognizing the June 12 election and declaring the day as the Nigeria Democracy day in future years, he has also conferred the highest honour of the land, GCFR, on Chief Moshood Kasimowo Olawale Abiola
We, the MSSN, B-Zone commend Mr President for righting the wrong of the past and for finding courage where others before him failed.
We believe it is an honour well deserved. As Muslims, we know that justice and fair play brings peace, prospect and development while injustice breeds hatred, enmity and retrogression.
Finally, we want to call on Mr President to beam his searchlight of justice on our sister, Amasa Firdaws, a successful applicant to call to Nigerian Bar who, after having qualified in academic and moral, was denied same for no other reason than choosing to be a Muslim sister and adorned herself with Islamically-prescribed hijab.
We call on Mr President, the National Assembly, the Body of Benchers, the Council of legal education and other stakeholders to make sure that the wrong done to the Nigerian Muslims by denial of Amasa Firdaws the right to be called to bar with hijab is restored back during the next call to bar. As Chief MKO Abiola is the symbol and hero of democratic struggle in Nigeria, so also is Amasa Firdaws and others of her likes are symbols and heroines of hijab struggle in Nigeria.
Barr Qaasim Odedeji
Amir, MSSN, B-Zone
Alh Abdul Jalil Abdur Rasaq
Engr Bashir Momoh
Public Relations Officer.