Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has declared that more names will be announced later for national honours for their role in the struggle for democracy.
The SGF made the announcement in his opening remarks at the investiture of national honours on late MKO Abiola, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, and late Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
At the presentation of the awards by President Muhammadu Buhari, the senior son of MKO Abiola, Mr Kola Abiola received the award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
Hajia Ganiat Fawehinmi also received the award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) for her late husband, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe received his award of GCON)
Mustapha explained that June 12 represented common heritage of oneness and unity and a democracy not build on ethnic and religious divide.
This is time for nation building. We have to draw a road map for nation building in the interest of the future.
He said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was internalising the democracy and putting history in perspective.
The SGF said that June 12 would be observed as public holiday with effect from 2019.
The umpire of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, had expressed happiness over the recognition of the day and said the action would rekindle the national consciousness for a better nation.
The Chairman of the defunct National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Monday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for designating June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
In a letter Nwosu wrote to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha on Monday in Abuja, he also thanked Buhari for honouring the memory of Chief Moshood (MKO) Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 election.
Nwosu, who presided over the polls later annulled by the military junta, said the conferment of national honours on Chief Abiola and his running mate, Amb. Babagana Kingibe, “will rekindle the national consciousness of all Nigerians for a better nation.”
“I thank His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria for recognizing June 12 as Democracy Day and also honouring the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
“Indeed, June 12, 1993 marked a turning point in Nigeria’s tortuous journey towards a democratic polity.
“It is an honour to the very hard-working men and women of the defunct National Electoral Commission under my leadership at this long awaited recognition. I humbly commend this action by the President.
“Undoubtedly the democratic system of governance is the best especially for the multi ethnic nation like ours. I thank you for building on the foundation which my team and I laboured strenuously to establish and actualize on June 12, 1993.
“It is our hope that expanding the frontiers of democracy of which all the people of Nigeria, regardless of ethnic group, will provide economic, social and developmental benefits that will certainly make Nigeria a great nation not only in Africa but across the world.”
He added that the scheduled event on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 would rekindle the national consciousness of all Nigerians for a better Nation.
He noted that he won’t be able to attend the investiture ceremony, because he was not in the country presently.(NAN)