The Federal Government of Nigeria this morning, unveiled the signage for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, previously referred as The Abuja National Stadium, in line with the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari on June 12, 2019 to rename the stadium. The president was represented by the Minister for Federal Capital Territory at the ceremony, which was hosted by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Akin ‘Dare, and attended by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, Minister for Trade and Investment, Otunba ‘Niyi Adebayo, and many officials and dignitaries.
Barrister Festus Keyamo SAN, said that the gesture to rename the Abuja National Stadium to Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja was due to the large-heartedness of President Buhari.
There are indications that the late MKO Abiola was part of the financiers of the group that overthrew the military administration of Major General Muhammadu Buhari and ‘Túndé Idiagbon in the early eighties via a coup and replaced it with the administration of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, which surprisingly, denied the Ogun State business mogul, Abiola, from his impending victory at the polls by annulling the June 1993 elections that was expected to usher in the second democratic dispensation. This fact made the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari more commendable, as he did not bear the grudges of the past.
According to the Minister for Trade and Investment, Otunba Nìyí Adebayo, “as we celebrate today, we remember the sacrifices of our heroes past, that paved the way for democratic governance across our great nation. Let us all continue to have faith in Nigeria and strive for a better future.”
It is on record that on January 10th, 2003, a Senator representing the constituency to which the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and MKO Abiola belong, tendered a motion to the Senate, which was debated, passed and signed by the senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, and presented to Obasanjo for approval. But the president declined to approve. It was about the renaming of the new National Stadium to MKO Abiola Stadium in honour of the contribution of the democrat to sports development in Nigeria. The senator was Femi Okurounmu.
Among the survivors of the June 12 protests are Femi Adesina and Kayode Fayemi.