President Muhammadu Buhari has described the late MKO Abiola as a “bridge builder” who could have prevented the religious and tribal issues besetting the country from happening.
When he received elders from Ogun state at the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday, Buhari said had the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election been allowed to rule, Nigeria would have been better for it.
The delegation led by Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state, had visited Buhari to thank him for honouring Abiola with the title of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
Buhari had conferred the honour on Abiola on June 12, 2018.
The delegation, which presented a big talking drum to the president, also used the opportunity to solicit the rehabilitation of some federal roads as well as other critical infrastructure in the state.
They explained that this will decongest the gridlock occasioned by the movement of consignments along the Apapa – Oshodi expressway and also improve the standard of living of Nigerians.
Responding, Buhari expressed appreciation to Abiodun for “mobilising such a strong delegation to thank him for the gesture towards their illustrious son”.
The president also said he named the national stadium after the late Abiola because he knows the youths would want to find out why such an important national institution was named after him in future.
“If MKO Abiola was allowed to rule, the religious and tribal issues now in Nigeria would not have been as strong, because he ran on a Muslim-Muslim ticket, chose his deputy from the Kanuri, a minority tribe and because of his personality, he went across Nigeria and was accepted,” Buhari said.
“He used his resources and energy to convince Nigerians that all he wanted was a solid Nigeria and nothing else.”
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