Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Human Rights lawyer Femi Falana and several others on Sunday, gathered to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the death of Chief Moshood Abiola.
They gathered at his residence in Ikeja, Lagos for a wreath-laying ceremony even as they expressed concerns about the state of the nation.
The late Chief Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, died on July 7, 1998, after spending years in detention in the fight for his mandate and for Nigeria’s return to democracy.
Soyinka, as well as some others present at the ceremony, while paying tribute to Abiola lamented that Nigeria has not achieved his vision and Nigerians were still battling poverty and injustice among other things.
The Nobel Laureate, who has repeatedly called for decisive action to combat insecurity in the country, drew attention to the rate of poverty in the country.
“I am afraid. Just looking at the level of poverty scares me. I am afraid for this nation,” he said.
“For the first time, in a very deep, visceral way, I really am afraid for this country.”
Mr Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, recalled Abiola’s vision of the nation and called for unity.
He said, “Abiola stood for justice for all. Abiola’s mandate was a reflection of the popular will of the people. That mandate, that election defied ethnicity, religion or any other primordial consideration.
“Therefore, if we want to recognise June 12, if we want to celebrate Abiola, we must celebrate the unity of our people and not the disunity of our country”.