President Buhari on Wednesday had directed that effective from 2019, Nigerian Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years should now be shifted to the June 12.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said this directive was to honuor “an illustrious son of Nigeria, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola”.
He said Abiola would be conferred with nation’s highest honuor of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) exclusively conferred on the holders of the highest office in the country, the President.
The APC in a statement signed by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi National Publicity Secretary
said ‘while joining Nigerians from all walks of life in commending President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day as well as granting posthumous award of Nigeria’s highest national honour (Grand Commander of the Federal Republic) to Moshood Abiola, winner of the annulled presidential election of June 12, 1993, the All Progressives Congress (APC) calls on the President to consider granting similar honour on Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
‘The APC believes that Alhaja Kudirat Abiola who paid the supreme price with her assassination in Lagos on June 4, 1996 at the heat of the mobilisation for the restoration of her husband’s mandate as the winner of the 1993 presidential election, deserves to be honoured in her own right as a heroin and martyr of democracy in Nigeria.
‘APC recall how she mobilised market women, students, activists and other human rights community against military rule and the struggle for a truly democratic nation.’
The Party equally commend the decision to honour Abiola’s running mate, Babagana Kingibe, and late human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi SAN with the second highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
‘In taking this courageous and patriotic decision, the President has again displayed a sincerity of purpose and his well-known penchant for doing the right thing irrespective of political and sundry considerations. As a Party, we remain resolved in our struggle to deepen our democracy and continue to improve on the transparency and credibility of our electoral systems. We reiterate that regardless of its imperfections, democracy remains the best form of government that can best serve the interest of our people.
‘We affirm that this decision by President Buhari yet again exemplifies APC’s commitment to the sanctity of popular elections and respect for the right of the people to freely choose their leaders in accordance to that fundamental principle of democracy that no man has the right to exercise power over other men, except with their consent.’