The June 12 election is considered one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history. It is believed to have been won by late Moshood Abiola and his running mate Babagana Kingibe. The election was annulled before final results were officially announced. Mr Abiola was eventually jailed by the Sani Abacha military dictatorship for seeking to actualise his mandate. He died in prison in 1998.
President Buhari on Wednesday decided to honour Mr Abiola by declaring June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day. It was formally May 29. The president also declared that Mr Abiola would be given Nigeria’s highest national honour, GCFR, while Mr Kingibe would be given the second highest, GCON.
Coming under order 42 and 52, Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti-PDP), re-opened the issue to allow contributions. While commending Mr Buhari for the move, she wants him to do more in legalising the gesture
“For once, I want to thank the President of Nigeria. I want to say he has done well. This is one time that the President has given a thought to what (Moshood) Abiola and his family went through to fight for this democracy that we enjoy today.
“Going further, there are issues to be addressed so that we can be confident that this is not a Greek gift.”
She prayed the Independent National Electoral Commission to announce the result of the June 12, 1983 election officially, grant entitlements to the winners, recognise Babagana Kingibe as a former vice president and the executive declare June 12 a public holiday.
Mr Kingibe was running mate to Mr Abiola in the June 12, 1993 election. Mr Buhari on Wednesday announced that Mr Abiola would be conferred with Nigeria’s highest national honour, GCFR, while Mr Kingibe would be conferred with the second highest honour, GCON.
LR, President Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, MKO Abiola, and Running Mate, Babagana Kingibe, Capagning in Bauchi, 1993.