The President of the Federal republic of Nigeria had on Wednesday, the 6th of June, 2018 stated that come 2019, the Nigeria’s Democracy Day which is usually celebrated on May 29 of every year, will henceforth be celebrated on 12th June in the honour of Moshood Abiola: The man who is said to have won the Presidential poll on June 12th, 1993.
Moshood Abiola, instead of being officially declared winner and sworn into office by the then Military Government led by Ibrahim Babangida, he was imprisoned by Sani Abacha and he died in prison in 1998 while struggling to fulfill his mandate.
In line with this, President Buhari has said that Moshood Abiola will now be conferred with nation’s highest honour, the “Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR” – the honour which is exclusively conferred only on presidents and former presidents.
The President also stated that Babagana Kingibe – Moshood Abiola’s running mate in that election, is to be conferred with the second highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON.
The late Gani Fawehinmi – the Nigeria’s Pro- Democracy Activist is also to receive a GCON, the President has said.
Meanwhile, controversy had set in as members of the House of Representatives deliberate over the President’s decision to set aside June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria. During the section, some members of the house supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision while others opposed it with various specific reasons.
On the other hand, regarding the recognition mapped out for the supposed winner of the 12th June 1993 Presidential election – Moshood Abiola, some lawmakers have disagreed with the President’s decision, saying that the “rule of law” should be implemented instead.
Some lawmakers who also spoke on the issue said there is need to ensure the rule of law is followed regarding the matter, while others spoke in favour of the president’s decision.
Consequently, the President’s stand on this matter has been greatly criticized as well as applauded by many including those occupying various political offices and the opposition parties alike.
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