Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Buhari apologises to MKO Abiola over June 12

FILES, NIGERIA – JUNE 11: Nigerian main opposition leader and presidential candidate Moshood Abiola votes in Lagos in a 12 June 1993 file photo. Abiola, the presumed winner of the elections, was placed under house arrest by police 11 June, one day before setting up a government of national unity. The 1993 vote was annulled by then military leader Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. PHOTO: FRANCOIS ROJON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Muhammadu Buhari has tendered an apology to the family of presumed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, for his struggles after the election.

The president tendered the apology at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, during the Special National Honour Investiture during which Abiola was conferred with the highest national honour of the Grand Commander Of the Federal Republic.

"We cannot rewind the past but we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed and resolve to stand firm now and ease the future for the sanctity of free elections," Buhari said.

"Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice. This retrospective and posthumous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country."

Meanwhile, Professor Wole Soyinka in his remarks accepted the presidential apology on behalf of Nigerians.

Buhari had On June 6, 2018, announced the conferment of Nigeria's highest national honour GCFR, on Abiola while his running mate, Babagana Kingibe and late lawyer and human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi were conferred with the second highest national honour, GCON.

The senate, on the other hand, the Senate has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to formally announce the results of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

It also resolved during plenary on 7 June 2018 to ensure that all allowances and entitlements to the families of M.K.O Abiola and Babagana Kingibe be made available to them and declare June 12 a public holiday.