26 years after Abiola’s campaign to end poverty, hunger still on the rise, says Falana

LEGAL luminary and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana on Wednesday said poverty is still on the rise 26 years after the late MKO Abiola campaign against the scourge.    

Falana who spoke on Sunrise Daily, on the topic – Strengthening Nigeria’s Democratic Governance noted that the challenge has culminated into all forms of insecurity such as killings and banditry.

According to him, the Late MKO was passionate about fighting poverty but as at date, the trend has exacerbated.

“Beyond the symbolism of the day, we must look at the significance of the June 12 mandate having regards to the fact that Abiola’s campaign was anchored on the farewell to poverty. Twenty-six years down the line, can we say our country has said farewell to poverty?

“On the contrary, poverty is exacerbating in our country and this is what has led to the reckless killings of people. There are bandits in the North West, insurgents in the northeast, kidnappers and armed robbers in all areas of the country.”

Meanwhile, the human rights lawyer tasked the Federal Government to identify other heroes of the June 12 mandate.

He also challenged members of the Civil Society Organisations and other individuals involved in the struggle but currently in government to realise ideals of the late politician.    

“My advice to the government, beyond recognising Chief MKO Abiola, beyond the national honour, well deserved, conferred on him, as well as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, we must also identify other heroes of that struggle from all over the country. This was not a NADECO and Afenifere affair,” Says Falana.

“The beauty of those who are coming from civil society who have found themselves either in the executive or the legislature is to ensure that those ideals are actualised and implemented in government, that is why June 12 is so significant.”

    He further emphasised that after the elections, candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa, was under pressure to go to the tribunal and it was at that point the civil societies and trade unions began the struggle.

    His words: “The point has been made abundantly clear, after that election, Bashir Tofa, the other candidate congratulated his opponent and that is what is done in any civilised society; he was under pressure to go to the tribunal but he said no.

    “From that moment, the civil society came in, the progressive trade unions came in and made the country ungovernable for the dictators.

    “They were waging the struggle when some of us were captured and taken to jail houses, they made it ungovernable for the military dictators to have their way, in the end, we won the battle for the restoration.”

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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