President Mohammadu Buhari Wednesday renamed the Abuja National Stadium after acclaimed winner of 1993 General Election Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.
The honour is coming 26 years after that historical election adjudged to be the fairest since the country’s independent in 1960. The President had earlier signed into the law the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day as well as public holiday replacing May 29th which was hitherto observed as public holiday and democracy day.The law now recognises May 29 as inauguration day only.
With the announcement on Wednesday the late business mogul and well known philanthropist, now has two stadia named after him, the MKO Abiola Stadium in Kuto Abeokuta his home state and the National Stadium in Abuja.
A lover of sports while he was alive, Abiola aside from being a publisher and businessman also floated a premier league club Abiola Babes which competed in African in 1986 and 1987 respectively.
Abiola who he was the Aare Ona Kankafo of the Yoruba land ran for the presidency in 1993 and was acclaimed the winner of the election that was eventually annulled. Only last year Abiola was awarded the GCFR posthumously on 6 June 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Abuja stadium was originally constructed to host the 8th All Africa Games which took place in October 2003. The 61,000 capacity stadium was built at a cost of $360 million.
The stadium was commissioned on the 11th June 2003 with a friendly match against Brazil which ended 3-0 in favour of the visitors.
Starting lines up for the Eagles in that encounter are Vincent Enyeama, Joseph Enakhire, Ifeanyi Udeze, Ikpe Ekong, Issac Okoronkwo, Romanus Orjinta, Austin Okocha, John Utaka, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Nwankwo Kanu, Garba Lawal while Brazil paraded Dida, Beletti, Lucio, Juan, Kleber, Ricardinho, Kleberson, Emerson, Ronaldinho, Gil, Luis Fabiano.
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