The Arewa United Association(AUA) on Monday restated the need for June 12 to be declared a national day in Nigeria, in honour of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Alhaji Ado Dansudu, the National Coordinator of AUA, spoke in Lagos ahead of the anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, which Abiola was widely acclaimed to have won.
"Abiola was a great Nigerian and should be remembered with a national day.
"The June 12 election was the best Nigeria ever had. It was the fairest and freest. The election united Nigeria,’’ Dansudu told newsmen.
He said that Abiola was the hero of that election, describing him as ``a man who united the nation beyond tribal lines".
Dansudu said that the late Abiola assisted people, irrespective of where they came from.
The AUA coordinator said that Nigeria would only change when voters cast their votes devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments as they did in 1993.
Similarly, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) said that making June 12 a national day would be the best way to honour Abiola.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the SNG spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said that Nigeria was redefined by the June 12 annulment.
"June 12 was about cementing Nigeria's nationhood as it erased tribal differences.
"Today, Nigeria is torn apart by ethnic and religious differences. Abiola's campaign was based on eradicating poverty and uniting the nation," he said.
The SNG spokesman noted that any other thing done for Abiola should be an addendum to June 12 being set aside to honour him.
Abiola died in prison on July 7, 1998 on the verge of his being released from custody.
On May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan announced a change in the name of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, in his honour for the contributions he made to democracy in Nigeria.(NAN)