Democracy Day: This is not what my father died for – MKO’s first son

The first son of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993, Presidential Election annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida-led military government, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly known as MKO, Kola Abiola, says is not impressed with how democracy is being practised in Nigeria, adding that this not what his father died for.

Kola Abiola state this while interacting with journalists, after the advocacy for one Nigeria initiatives June 12 program, organized in commemoration of the 2021 Democracy Day, themed “this thing called democracy”, this weekend in Abuja.

He explained that the uncompleted bridge at Yar’adua centre Abuja was an uncompleted democracy legacy and he will dedicate time and resources to finish that legacy to make sure that this country stays united.

On whether his impressed with the democracy as being practised in Nigeria today, Kola said “I am not impressed with the democracy that we are in today, because is not what my father and others died for. Is not what they put their lives on the line for. And I want to make sure we get what they will be proud of in their graves.

Reacting to the theme, as discussed by the panellists, after unveiling a social media platform named Tribe Naija, he said “I think what am trying to do has started. We are a group that need to think outside of the box. When I say we have to think out of the box, we are still thinking along with the same political structure we inherited since independence.

He continued ” What we have is a system that throws up two candidates, not of our choice. Then we get to pick the best of the worst. What am hoping we will do with this platform is to mobilise a lot of us to disrupt the process. Is all about disrupting this process. What do I mean when you disrupt something? You are in the age of disruption, we have to put that to use for the better of this country. Can you imagine what bringing 51% together on this platform can do? Can you imagine having 51% of the voting population on a platform? All you need to do is to use that platform to begin to get organically grown leadership on that platform.

“The biggest fraud in the system is what is called delegates election. Delegate election is the worst. It is a system that gives us candidate, that is not of our choice. But when you have your troops and those troops have nominated you of the platform, can you see the difference it will make? So don’t continue to rely on that system, we need to create a system that gives you a direct say and makes a difference.

“Late General Yar’adua always tells me that, Kola you must know what you have. And one thing he always tells me is that the only authority you have to challenge the government is a party, any other thing you do on the street is illegal. So the party is the only authority and the party comes from numbers. Let us speak to each other irrespective of our religion, let us speak to each other irrespective of our backgrounds.

One of the panellists, the co-founder of Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu said ” if democracy will work in Nigeria, young people have the power to make it work and that is about how we organise and build power. We need to start thinking like politicians. The politicians during the 2019 election are already thinking of the 2023 election. But we wait most times towards the elections and then we start to plan.

She added that “2019 elections the youths constituted 51% of registered voters. INEC is commencing continuous voter registration on June 28 and they want to register at least 50 million additional voters before the next election. Trust me, young persons will be the majority. Now, how do we do so that, that number beyond registering will come out to vote? Because to change the game we need to increase our turn out. If we are not coming out we will not be election credible and qualify people that will lead us”

Another panellist, Chief Executive CODE The Great Green Wall (GGW) and anti-corruption activist, Hamzat Lawal says the ultimate goal of every young Nigerian in 2023 should be how to take over National Assembly and State Assemblies where they can make the required changes.

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