M.K.O Abiola’s Epetedo Declaration In 1994 - CVIEW NEWS

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Monday, 15 June 2015

M.K.O Abiola’s Epetedo Declaration In 1994




Complete  text of the Epetedo, Lagos proclamation delivered by the late M.K.O.
Abiola on Saturday, June 11, 1994.
People of Nigeria, exactly one year ago, you turned out in your millions
to vote for me, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as the President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria. But politicians in uniform, who call themselves
soldiers but are more devious than any civilian would want to be, deprived
you of your God-given right to be ruled by the President you had
yourselves elected.
These soldier-politicians introduced into our body politic, a concept
hitherto unknown to our political lexicography, something strangely called
the “annulment” of an election perceived by all to have been the fairest,
cleanest and most peaceful ever held in our nation.


Since that abominable act of naked political armed robbery occurred, I
have been constantly urged by people of goodwill, both in Nigeria and
abroad, to put the matter back into the people’s hands and get them to
actualise the mandate they gave me at the polls. But mindful of the need
to ensure that peace continues to reign in our fragile federation, I have
so far tried to pursue sweet reason and negotiation.
My hope has always been to arouse whatever remnants of patriotism are left
in the hearts of these thieves of your mandate, and to persuade them that
they should not allow their personal desire to rule to usher our beloved
country into an era of political instability and economic ruin.
All I have sought to do, in seeking dialogue with them, has been to try
and get them to realise that only real democracy can move our nation
forward towards progress, and earn her the respect she deserves from the
international community.
However, although this peaceful approach has exposed me to severe censure
by some who have mistaken it for weakness on my part, those with whom I
have sought to dialogue have remained like stones, neither stirred to show
loyalty to the collective decision of the people of their own country, nor
to observe Allah’s injunction that they should exhibit justice and
fair-play in all their dealings with their fellowmen.
Appeals to their honour as officers and gentlemen of the gallant Nigerian
Armed Forces, have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, they have resorted to the
tactics of divide and rule, bribery and political perfidy, misinformation
and (vile) propaganda. They arrest everyone who disagrees with them. Even
the 71-year old hero of our nation, Chief Anthony Enahoro, was not spared.
How much longer can we tolerate all this? People of Nigeria, you are all
witnesses that I have tried to climb the highest mountain, cross the
deepest river and walk the longest mile, in order to get these men to obey
the will of our people.
There is no humiliation I have not endured, no snare that has not been put
in my path, no “setup” that has not been designed for me in my endeavour
to use the path of peace to enforce the mandate that you bestowed on me
one year ago. It has been a long night. But the dawn is here.
Today, people of Nigeria, I join you all in saying, “Enough is Enough!” We
have endured 24 years of military rule in our 34 years of independence.
Military rule has led to our nation fighting a civil war with itself.
Military rule has destabilised our nation today as not before in its
history. Military rule has impoverished our people and introduced a
dreadful trade in drugs which has made our country’s name an anathema in
many parts of the world. Even soccer fans going to watch the Green Eagles
display in America are being made to suffer there needlessly because
Nigeria’s name is linked with credit card and fraud and “419.”


Politically, military rule has torn to shreds the prestige due to our
country because of its size and population.
The permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council that should be
rightfully ours, is all but lost. For who will vote for Nigeria to get the
seat if Nigerian military rulers do not respect the votes of their own
people?
Enough of military rule. We are sickened to see people who have shown
little or no personal achievement, either in building up private
businesses, or making success of any tangible thing, being placed in
charge of the management of our nation’s economy, by rulers who are not
accountable to anyone.
Enough of square pegs in round holes. We are tired of then military
repetitive tendency to experiment with our economy: Today, they say “no
controls.” Tomorrow; they say “Full controls”. The day after, they say
“Fine tuning”.
The next day, they say “Devaluation.” A few days later, they say “Revalue
the same naira upwards again Abi?” All we can see are the consequences of
this permanent game of military “about turns;” high inflation, a huge
budget deficit and an enormous foreign debt repayment burden, dying
industries, high unemployment and a demoralised populace.
Our youths, in particular, can see no hope on the horizon, and many can
only dream of escaping from our shores to join the brain drain. Is this
the Nigeria we want? We are plagued also by periodic balance of payments
crises, which have led to a perennial shortage of essential drugs, that
has turned our hospitals and clinics into mortuaries.
A scarcity of books and equipment has rendered our schools into desolate
deserts of ignorance. Our factories are crying for machinery, spare parts
and raw materials. But each day that passes, instead of these economic
diseases being cured, they are rather strengthened as an irrational
allocation of foreign exchange based on favouritism and corruption becomes
the order of the day.
Enough is enough of economic mismanagement! People of Nigeria, during the
election campaign last year, I presented you with a programme entitled
“HOPE ’93. This programme was aimed precisely at solving these economic
(problems) that have demoralised us all. I toured every part of Nigeria to
present this programme to you the electorate. I was questioned on it at
public rallies and press conferences and I had the privilege of
incorporating into it much of the feedback that I obtained from the
people.
Because you knew I would not only listen to you but deliver superb results
from the programme, you voted for me in your millions and gave me an
overwhelming majority over my opponent. To be precise, you gave me 58.4
per cent of the popular vote and a majority in 20 out of 30 states plus
the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Not only that, you also enabled me
to fulfil the constitutional requirement that the winner should obtain
one-third of the votes in two-thirds of the states.
I am sure that when you cast an eye on the moribund state of Nigeria
today, you ask yourselves: “What have we done to deserve this, when we
have a president- elect who can lead a government that can change things
for the better? Our patience has come to an end.
As of now, from this moment, a new Government of National Unity is in
power throughout the length and breadth of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, led by me, Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola, as President and
Commander-in-Chief. The National Assembly is hereby reconvened. All
dismissed governors are reinstated.
The State Assemblies are reconstituted, as are all local government
councils. I urge them to adopt a bi-partisan approach to all the issues
that come before them. At the national level, a bi-partisan approach will
be our guiding principle. I call upon the usurper, General Sani Abacha, to
announce his resignation forthwith, together with the rest of his illegal
ruling council. We are prepared to enter into negotiations with them to
work out the mechanics for a smooth transfer of power.
I pledge that if they hand over quietly, they will be retired with all
their entitlements, and their positions will be accorded all the respect
due to them. For our objective is neither recrimination nor witch-hunting,
but an enforcement of the will of the Nigerian people, as expressed in
free elections conducted by the duly constituted authority of the time.
I hereby invoke the mandate bestowed upon me by my victory in the said
election, to call on all members of the Armed Forces and the Police, the
Civil and Public Services throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to
obey only the Government of National Unity that is headed by me, your only
elected President.
My Government of National Unity is the only legitimate, constituted
authority in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as of now. People of
Nigeria, these are challenging times in the history of our continent,
Africa, and we in Nigeria must not allow ourselves to be left behind. Our
struggle is the same as that waged by the people of South Africa, which
has been successfully concluded, with the inauguration of Mr. Nelson
Mandela as the first African President of that country.
Nelson Mandela fought to replace MINORITY rule with MAJORITY rule. We in
Nigeria are also fighting to replace MINORITY rule, for we are ruled by
only a tiny section of our armed forces. Like the South Africans, we want
MAJORITY rule today, that is rule only by those chosen by all the people
of Nigeria as a whole in free and fair elections.
The only difference between South Africa and Nigeria is that those who
imposed minority rule on the majority rule whether it is by black or
white, remains minority rule, and must be booted out. I call on you,
heroic people of Nigeria, to emulate the actions of your brothers and
sisters in South Africa and stand up as one person to throw away the yoke
of minority rule for ever.The antics of every minority that oppresses the
majority are always the same. They will try to intimidate you with threats
of police action. But do not let us fear arrest. In South Africa, so many
people were arrested, during the campaign against the Pass Laws, for
instance, that the jails could not hold all of them. Today, apartheid is
gone forever.
So, let it be with Nigeria. Let us say goodbye forever to minority rule by
the military. They talk of treason. But haven’t they heard of the Rivonia
treason trial in South Africa? Did those treason trials halt the march of
history? People of Nigeria, our time is now. You are the repository of
power in the land.
No one can give you power. It is yours. Take it! From this day, show to
the world that anyone who takes the people of Nigeria for fools is
deceiving himself and will have the people to answer to. God bless you
all. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long live the Government
of National Unity.

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