Senator Femi Okurounmu, a former lawmaker representing Ogun Central Senatorial district has revealed how President Olusegun Obasanjo ignored a motion sponsored by 19 senators to rename National Stadium Abuja to the ‘Moshood Abiola Stadium’.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, June 12 Democracy Day renamed the stadium as the Moshood Abiola Stadium in honour of the hero of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, adjudged to be the most democratic election in Nigeria’s history. Abiola was denied his mandate after the election was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, the then military President.
Okurounmu in his submission in his book, ”Leadership Failure and Nigeria’s Fading Hopes” said the motion to change the name of the stadium was moved by him and he sought the support of 18 other senators who saw reasons with him. This was after Obasanjo had rejected several calls on him to make June 12 a special day for the immortalisation of MKO Abiola.
He said the bill was sponsored by him and the Senators on the 15th of January, 2003 and the resolution was signed and forwarded by the then Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim to Obasanjo. Okurounmu revealed that Obasanjo turned deaf ears to the call, despite the general acknowledgement of Abiola as a pillar of sports in Africa.
Okurounmu said further that Obasanjo’s decision to ignore several calls was what championed Abdulsalami Abubakar’s nonchalance towards supporting the June 12 cause too, and concluded the excerpt by saying, ”but glady, to the discomfiture of Obasanjo, Abdulsalami and the types, June 12 will never be forgotten.”