Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:01 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja offered unreserved apology on behalf of the Federal Government to the family of MKO Abiola, over the annulment of June 12 1993 poll, presumably won by late Abiola.
The President apologised at the Special National Honours Investiture and award presentation to heroes of June 12 1993 poll which was annulled by the defunct Ibrahim Babangida regime.
He said the decision to hold the event was not to open old wounds but to bury negative sides of June 12 and it ill-feelings, hates, frustration and agony.
He, therefore, called on all Nigerians across national divides to accept the decision to correct the annulment of the June 12 1993 poll in good faith.
“I honestly invite all Nigerians across all our national divides to accept it in good faith. Our action today is to bury the negative sides of June 12, the side of ill feelings, hates, frustration and agony.
“What we are doing is celebrating and appreciating the positive sides of June 12.
“The June 12 which reinstates democracy and freedom, the June 12 that overcome our various divides and the June that produces unity and national cohesion.
“This is the June 12 we are celebrating today and we will nurture it to our next generation
“Accordingly, on behalf of the Federal Government, I tender the nation apology to the family of late MKO Abiola who got the highest votes and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of June 12 struggle,’’ he said.
President Buhari asked for minute silence in honour of late MKO Abiola and those that lost lives in the struggle for actualization of June 12
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo tendered an apology for not being presence at the event because of his involvement in a book launch outside the country.
Former President Ibrahim Babangida equally tendered similar apology for his absence because of some prevailing issues touching on his health conditions.
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/kt1m5vOZFlI?t=7
Abiola died after he was arrested and detained by the military in the course of reclaiming the mandate.
Buhari presented awards to late Chief MKO Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and late Gani Fawehinmi at the event in recognition of their roles in the fight for the actualisation of the June 12 presidential election.
Those who witnessed the event were members of families of the recipients and other invited guests.
The Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, Mr Ayo Abe of Civil Society Organisations and Chief Frank Kokori from Labour movement were also present at the event.
Others who witnessed the ceremony include Sen. Bola Tinubu, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Fidelis Tapgun, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Sen. Jonathan Zwingina and Mr Femi Falana.
President Buhari had on June 6 directed that from 2019, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years, would now be celebrated on June 12.
The President directed Malam Shehu Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order in Federal Gazette as follows: “Chief MKO Abiola-Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous).
He also directed Malami to gazette Alhaji Babagana Kingibe – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, Chief Gani Fawehinmi – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (Posthumous).
The President said these should be done so that the June 12 award ceremony could go on as planned.