President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declared June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day instead of the previous May 29 set by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Buhari said in a statement that; “I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day,”
The historic June 12, 1993, presidential election remains arguably freest and fairest presidential election believed to have been won by late Moshood Abiola but was annulled by the then military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.
The Nigerian president also announced the conferment of Nigeria’s highest national honour on Abiola while his running mate, Babagana Kingibe and late lawyer and human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi were conferred with the second highest national honour.
“We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola.
“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.”
“Chief Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be awarded a GCON.
“Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, a tireless fighter for human rights and democracy, and for the actualisation of the June 12, 1993 elections, will be posthumously awarded a GCON.”