June 12, 2016
By Olusegun Hakeem-Adebumiti
It is the middle of the year and also the last month in the second quarter of 2016. Thus, the month provides us with the opportunity to reviewing our achievements so far in the ongoing year in order to know where we are when compared to where we are coming from since the start of the year.
At the global level, the US Presidential election is gaining momentum. It is believed that against all odds the battle is going to be between Democratic Party Candidate and wife of former US President, Hillary Clinton and Business Man turned Politician, Donald Trump who will be representing the Republican Party at the election billed for November.
In Nigeria, the fight against corruption is taking new dimension by the day while the government has also dealt a big blow on Boko Haram just like the world is dealing with ISIS.
However, this month has seen a new dimension to agitations by pressure groups in the country with the emergence of a new militant group in the oil rich Niger Delta – the Niger Delta Avengers. The group has blown up many oil installations of late and has threatened to bring down the government should it fails to grant their request, chief of which is the sole control of resources in the region by the Niger-Deltans and a call for secession.
The month of June is historic to many Nigerians due to the colossal “June 12” election. This day was widely adjudged the day Nigerians experienced the most free and fair election which was devoid of ethnic bias, religious bigotry and above all electoral violence.
After the election, Social Democratic Party (SDP) standard bearer, Chief MKO Abiola was declared the president-elect amid pomp and pageantry. But as fate will have it, the election was nullified by the military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
This event in June shaped the lives of many Nigerians home and abroad who fought for the actualisation of MKO’s mandate and the return to Democracy in Nigeria.
While many believed in the Democratic system as a better alternative to military rule, others have remained apathetic to the system since the election was nullified. They don’t even come out to vote anymore.
The same person who nullified the election, General Babangida was earlier reported to have died in Germany this June where he went for treatment. That has however been dispelled as the “Maradona” is back “in da hood” hale and hearty.
Many mystery about June you will say? Hold on, do you recall the role played by former military leader, General Sani Abacha in the MKO Abiola mandate? Well, he too died in June. That was 8th of June in 1998. The excitement which followed his demise is another story for the historians.
Why did I choose the title of my piece in the first place? Why the hullabaloo about June passing away like others? Well it was borne out of the recent deaths of the great boxing icon, Muhammad Ali, Nigeria’s finest , Stephen Keshi and Former Technical Director, Shuaibu Amodu.
These sport icons passed away within 10 days in June. Again why June? Well the Yoruba’s will say “naso then dey ask person o” apologies for the pidgin English I employed there.
Yes, it is in June and just like every other month, people die but the reality is that those that died are colossus who have change the tide of time and there legacies have been imprinted on the marble of life. We cannot but talk about them because they are celebrities.
While the world mourn Muhammad Ali “the greatest”, Nigerians received the death of its finest football star and later manager of the National football team, Stephen Keshi. It was painful because he just lost his wife six months ago. Apparently there is a “strong connection” between the two which the former find so hard to come to term with.
And just on Saturday the 11th of June, I was just reading some tweets and saw “Omo Gbajabiamila” twitted it that Shuaibu Amodu is dead. I had to post it on my Facebook timeline as well but with a question mark and in no seconds people trooped to comment on the comment box.
Some said no it was Keshi you mean to type, some said yes he’s dead. Then, I got the information from the Nigerian football federation twitter handle @thenff which confirmed Amodu’s demise.
As usual many commented with the hashtag #RIPAmodu, “oh this is sad”, “what is really happening, may God save us all”, “only in June, we lost two heroes?” etc. The most interesting part was the fact that Nigerians used the opportunity to throw jabs at Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa who have been at loggerhead over who controls the glass house – headquarters of Nigeria’s football federation in Abuja.
It is good that we are mourning the dead and praying for the repose of their souls while also extending some hands of fellowship to their family members.
While we are also contemplating on immortalising them, we must all know that the sequential demise of the two Nigerian football icons must not be misinterpreted to querying God as to why? He knows how he does His will. The keyword should be how to live a life full of goodness with numerous impact in the lives of others.
Hakeem-Adebumiti writes from Ondo. Contact via Twitter
@hakeemadebumiti or hakeem-adebumiti.blogspot.com