The Nigeria senate has hailed President Mohammadu Buhari for acknowledging June 12 and its presidential candidate of late Chief Moshood kashimawo Abiola and other Actors therewith.
In its plenary session, it believes while backing the declaration of June 12 as new Democracy Day it also resolved that the independent National Electoral Commission (the then National Electoral Commission) should declare the results of the 1993 election as results as well in other for balancing.
In addition, the lawmakers resolved that Buhari should declare Abiola and Kingibe as ex-president and former vice-president and should approve the entitlements due them as former president and vice-president, respectively.
The Senate further resolved that May 29 should remain the date for the inauguration of elected public officials to prevent tenure elongation.
These were the prayers unanimously granted by the lawmakers following the adoption of a point of order raised by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun-Central) at the plenary on Thursday for the Senate to affirm the declarations made by Buhari.
President Mohammadu Buhari had on Wednesday directed that the nation’s Democracy Day would henceforth hold on June 12 of every year as against the current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.
The President also resolved to honour Abiola with the highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.
Apart from Abiola, Buhari said he would also honour Kingibe and the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, with the second highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Niger, while their investiture would take place on June 12.
Raising the point of order, Tejuoso noted, “President MKO is my constituent and my constituency has given birth to at least three heads of state in the country – from President MKO Abiola to Chief Ernest Shonekan to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; it is the presidential constituency of Nigeria.”
He said, “I want to refer this Senate to an occurrence in Kenya about three weeks ago when they had a national day of prayer and fasting, and the president of that country in his wisdom and spirit of sportsmanship invited the opposition leader in a reconciliatory move to restore peace into the politics of Kenya.
“I believe that is a wind of reconciliation in Africa, which started in Kenya and blew into Nigeria yesterday (Wednesday). By President Mohammadu Buhari now declaring June 12 as Democracy Day instead of May 29 which is a child of June 12, I believe Mr President needs further encouragement to continue this reconciliation that he has started.
“There are so many reconciliations that we need in Nigeria. We even need reconciliation between the executive and the legislature. We need to encourage Mr President. What he has started took us 25 years to achieve. I believe that this Senate should acknowledge this major feat achieved by Mr President and to ensure that the peace that we all need in Nigeria pre-2019 election will begin to develop from now.”
Responding, the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, particularly stated that recognition of Abiola was long overdue.
His word: “I think we all agree as a country that the recognition has been long overdue for the contributions of Chief MKO Abiola and the events of the June 12 election. "He has done that and we commend that act of recognition that is long overdue". As you (Tejuoso) rightly said, we hope that it will go a long way in the reconciliation and further unity of the country.”