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June 12 Declared New Democracy Day

Twenty Five Years after the annulled June 12 1993 Presidential Election which saw the late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola win, democracy day has been officially changed from May 29 to June 12 by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

The president announced this via his Facebook page on Wednesday, June 6.

The president also announced that the late Chief Abiola will be posthumously awarded the highest Honour in the land, GCFR.

He said: “Dear Nigerians, I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day. “We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the cancelled June 12, 1993 elections”.

Chief Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be awarded a GCON. Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, tireless fighter for human rights & democracy, & for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 elections,will be posthumously awarded a GCON, according to the official press release.

Abiola’s family, in a series of tweets commended the President for granting the posthumous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic Award to their father.  They said it is better late than never.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the post humous national award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) to the late Chief. Falana also said the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day was an end to the hypocrisy of celebrating it on May 29.

In the heat of the suspense that followed the 1993 presidential election which was declared as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history, then head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the election, in a broadcast to the entire world. This singular action gave birth to the various groups that began the demand for democracy that finally came in 1999 after the death of military head of state, General Sani Abacha.

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