The Federal Government has declared June 12 now Democracy Day, President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement he signed said ‘henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 cancelled elections.’
President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the delegation after his Investiture as grand Patron by Nigerian Red Cross Society during a courtesy visit held at the Council Chamber State House in Abuja.
Also the Government will be using the day (June 12 now Democracy Day) to honour late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, CFR, the adjudged winner of the June 12 1993 Presidential election.
Also to be honoured is Late Chife Chief Abdul-Ganiyu “Gani” Oyesola Fawehinmi, civil rights lawyer, author, philanthropist, social critic, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria wil be among those.
Buhari in the statemet said
‘For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29th, as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government. The first time this happened was on October 1st, 1979.
‘But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st.
‘June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.
‘Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 cancelled elections.
‘His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualisation of the June 12th election and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN is to be awarded posthumously a GCON.
‘The commemoration and investiture will take place on Tuesday June 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29th as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.’