In what many has considered as a desperate ploy by the APC government to pacify the people of South Western Nigeria and secure their votes, President Buhari declared yesterday that June 12 will now be known as ‘Democracy Day’.
The Yoruba people of the South West have been aggrieved by the June 1, 1993 election in which a Yoruba man, MKO Abiola won fair and square, but was annulled by Head of State, General Babangida. Abiola would later be arrested and incarcerated by the succeeding regime of Sani Abacha and would die in prison under questionable circumstances.
In a statement issued out by the presidency yesterday, it was stated that Chief MKO Abiola has been awarded posthumously, the highest title in the Nation; The GCFR.
Also, Democracy activist Gani Fawehinmi has been posthumously awarded the GCON title.
Previously, Democracy Day has been celebrated on May 29, the day the Military under General Abdulsalami Abubakar, handed over government to the civilians, under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. The holiday will now simply shift from May 29 to June 12.
See the presidency statement below:
The declaration has thrown the entire country into a frenzy several Nigerians make their opinions known about the decision. June 12, MKO Abiola, and Democracy day are currently trending on Twitter.
See some of the comments from prominent Nigerians below:
That’s a very welcome gesture from .@NGRPresident @MBuhari – this honor done Chief MKO Abiola. The symbolism of June 12 is huge for our Democracy. The sacrifice of the Abiola family was much and I do hope Mrs Kudirat Abiola is similarly accorded the honor due her. #History.
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) June 7, 2018
MKO Abiola is worthy to be honoured and we in Ekiti honoured him with a public holiday on June 12, 2017, we will do it again this year.However, the greatest honour anyone can bestow on MKO Abiola is total respect for the rule of law and conduct of free,fair & credible elections. pic.twitter.com/VSmxe9FNb4
— Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) June 7, 2018
If Buhari gets re-elected, declaring June 12 Democracy Day (and honouring MKO Abiola and Gani Fawehinmi) is not going to be the primary reason he gets elected. I don't think any sensible person would go to the poll voting Buhari because of June 12.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 7, 2018
I commend @MBuhari for announcing June 12th as our new Democracy Day. This is long overdue and I am pleasantly surprised.I also commend him for honoring Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12th 1993 presidential election, with the posthumus award of GCON.This is great news!
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 6, 2018
— TheCable (@thecableng) June 7, 2018
— TheCable (@thecableng) June 6, 2018