June 12 as Democracy Day: Buhari gets encomiums
.Honours MKO Abiola with Posthumous GCFR
.Says Kingibe, Gani to get GCON honours
By Silas Onuoha
The Senate, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and other top government functionaries have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 every year as Democracy Day in Nigeria, instead of May 29, as the nationally recognised Democracy Day.
The President made this known in a press statement issued in Abuja.
He said, “For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29 as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected Civilian administration took over from the Military government. The first time this happened was on October 21,1979”.
He went on, “But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, June 12, 1993 was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even the October 1st”.
The President went on, “June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the fairest and most peaceful election since our independence. The fact that the outcome was not upheld by the then Military government does not distract the democratic credentials of that process”.
His assertion, “Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. The government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR to Late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of June 12, 1993 cancelled presidential election”.
“Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe is also to be invested with the second highest honour in Nigeria, the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger, GCON, while the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, is to be awarded posthumously, a GCON as well”.
“The commemoration and investiture of Chief MKO Abiola, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi will take place on Tuesday June 12, 2018, a date, which would in future replace May 29, as National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day in the country”.