A former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has extolled the virtues of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, describing him as a living icon Nigerians will never forget.
Kalu noted that the goodwill Abiola enjoyed in his lifetime and even in death, irrespective of ethnic, political, religious and social divides, is a clear testament to his generosity and commitment to humanity.
The former governor made this remarks on Thursday in Abuja while answering questions from journalists in commemoration of the 22 years of the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election.
It will be recalled that during his tenure as Abia State Governor, Kalu declared June 12 as public holiday.
According to Kalu, the June 12, 1993 presidential election is still the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria.
He said: “The presidential ticket of Abiola/Babagana Kingibe, despite being a Muslim/Muslim ticket got overwhelming votes.
“Nigerians should learn that leadership entails selflessness and patriotism as exemplified by the late Abiola.
“During the 1993 presidential poll, voters came out en masse to vote for the then Social Democratic Party candidate without tribal or religious bias because of his antecedents as a philanthropist and genuine leader.
“Government at all levels should immortalize Abiola by sustaining the tenets of democracy and improving the well-being of Nigerians.”
The former governor used the opportunity to appeal to prominent Nigerians to commit their resources to philanthropic projects that will make Nigeria a better place to live.
He urged members of the Abiola family to uphold the legacy left behind by the late businessman cum politician.