By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared June 12 as Democracy Day instead of the usual May 29. This followed “due consultations,” he explained.
In a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday night, Mr Buhari said he has also posthumously awarded the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, late MKO Abiola, the highest Honour in the land, GCFR.
“Dear Nigerians, I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Govt has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day,” the President said in the statement.
Apart from late Abiola that was posthumously honoured, Mr Buhari also bestowed a GCON award on “Chief Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.”
“Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, tireless fighter for human rights and democracy, and for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 elections, will be posthumously awarded a GCON,” the President said.
Stating further, Mr Buhari said, “In the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, June 12, 1993 was and is far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even October 1.”
“June 12, 1993 was the day millions of Nigerians expressed their democratic will in the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. That the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military government does not detract from its democratic credentials,” he added.
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