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Ogun State Announces Activities for Democracy Day Celebrations Honoring MKO Abiola

Ogun State Commemorates Democracy Day with Special Events Honoring MKO Abiola

The Ogun State Government has unveiled a series of events to celebrate Democracy Day on June 12, highlighting the legacy and struggles of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. This annual commemoration is not only a significant day in Nigeria's political history but also marks the state’s dedication to fostering democratic values and honoring those who fought for them.

Memorial Prayer at Abiola’s Family House

The day's activities will start early in the morning at the family house of MKO Abiola in Ọja Agbo, Gbágùrá, Abeokuta. A special memorial prayer will be conducted at 8:00 am to honor Abiola's memory. His contributions to Nigeria's democratic development remain crucial, and this event underscores the emotional and historical significance of his life's work. Abiola is widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993, presidential election, a victory that was controversially annulled by the then military government led by Gen Ibrahim Babangida Rtd. This annulment set off a series of events that underscored the critical need for a resilient democratic process in Nigeria.

Commemorative Lecture: 'June 12 Defining Moment in The Democratic Development in Nigeria'

Following the early morning prayer, attention will shift to the Hubert Ogunde Hall at the June 12 Cultural Centre in Kuto, Abeokuta. Here, a commemorative lecture is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, with guests advised to be seated by 9:30 am. The lecture titled 'June 12: Defining Moment in The Democratic Development in Nigeria' will be delivered by esteemed Public Affairs Analyst, Mr. Richard Akinnola. His analysis will delve into the implications and influence of the June 12 election on Nigeria’s democratic journey. The lecture intends to not just remind attendees of past struggles but also to inspire continued commitment towards a democratic Nigeria.

MKO Abiola: A Symbol of Democratic Struggle

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola remains a towering figure in Nigeria's fight for democracy. He vied for the presidency under the Social Democratic Party in what is widely regarded as Nigeria's most transparent elections. However, the shadow cast by the annulment of the June 12 election darkened Nigeria's political landscape for years. Abiola's subsequent arrest and detention while attempting to reclaim his mandate highlighted the tensions and perils faced by those advocating for democracy at the time. Tragically, Abiola died in detention on July 7, 1998 – a date that further deepens the poignancy of the June 12 commemoration.

An Enduring Legacy

The decision to celebrate MKO Abiola's legacy every June 12 is emblematic of his enduring impact on Nigeria's path to democracy. This observance is more than just a ceremonial affair; it is a vital educational and inspirational moment for all Nigerians. Younger generations, many of whom did not witness the events of 1993 firsthand, are provided with a historical context to appreciate the sacrifices made for the democracy they now enjoy.

A Day for Reflection and Commitment

Democracy Day celebrations in Ogun State are not just about looking back, but also about making a collective commitment to the values of democracy, transparency, and good governance. As the state engages in these ceremonies, the reflection on past events, current states of governance, and future aspirations in democratic development are expected to foster a more participatory political culture. The enduring message of the day is that the journey of democracy is continuous and requires perpetual nurturing.


As Ogun State prepares for Democracy Day, the planned memorial prayer and the commemorative lecture are set to make it an engaging and reflective occasion. MKO Abiola's legacy will be honored in a manner that not only pays homage to his sacrifices but also reaffirms the state's commitment to democratic ideals. This June 12, as citizens and leaders gather, they will not only remember a defining moment but also recharge their collective commitment to the journey of democracy in Nigeria.

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