The governor, who spoke during a media chat on Friday at the Government House, Yenagoa, however, commended Buhari for immortalising Abiola with the highest award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He reasoned that though the award was belated, the gesture would partly address the wrongs of the past and strengthen the nation’s democracy.
Having bestowed the highest award only reserved for Heads of State, Presidents, Dickson called on Buhari to declare Abiola as President that was never sworn in and urgently sponsor an executive bill to the National Assembly to legitimise it and back it up by an Act of Parliament, when passed into law.
He said that declaring June 12 as Democracy Day, giving national honour to Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as well as giving posthumous national awards to Abiola and the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi , were in order.
The governor, however, called on the President to show the same political will and patriotism showed on June 12 on the critical issue of restructuring Nigeria.
According to him, the President should ensure that Nigeria is restructured with power devolved from the centre to the federating units and fiscal federalism enthroned to guarantee balance, peace, prosperity and stability in the country.
He said a restructured Nigeria would address the dysfunctional system, over concentration of power at the centre, pseudo-federalism and the expropriation of the resources of the Niger Delta.
He stressed that those championing the cause of restructuring were the real patriots, saying that Buhari would etch his name on the sands of time and become “a Nigerian hero of all times, if he restructures the country.”
Dickson also urged the President to honour a former Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, with a national award for his uncommon courage and commitment to the conduct of transparent elections in June, 1993.
Dickson said, “I commend the President for the courage to immortalise the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election with the highest national honour of GCFR as well as declaring June 12 as Democracy Day.
“Having honoured Abiola with the highest award only reserved for presidents or heads of state, I urge him (Buhari) to declare Abiola a president that was never sworn in, and then go a step further to gazette and sponsor a bill to the National Assembly to legitimise his proclamations backed by law.
“He should also honour the then Chairman of National Electoral Commission, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, for the courage to conduct a transparent election for what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
“As member of House of Representatives, I co-sponsored a bill to immortalise MKO Abiola to address the wrong done to Abiola and our democracy. So, I believe by the President’s proclamation, he continued from where we stopped and in my opinion, it was the right thing to do.
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