By Lanre Adesanya
Eminent Nigerians have taken the posthumous conferment of highest honour in Nigerian polity(GCFR), on late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola who died on 7th of July 1998, as though a welcome development but ill timed.
Speaking with the National Daily on phone, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, former Minister for Transportation and member Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, expressed his view.
“Even though one may question the timing,the timing is wrong but the motivation is right. We should commend Buhari for the conferment of GCFR on late MKO”.Babatope said.
For the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni, he has mixed feelings over the belated honour bestowed on MKO.
“At long last the truth prevails. Hopefully, if any of his companies is owed any debt the FG should pay,
Thank God MKO Abiola and Gani Fawehinmi were duly recognized by the Lagos State Government.
” The good part is that effort of Nigerians in forgetting religious and tribal sentiments as exhibited by the June 12 elections is not in vain.
Adding that,”the declaration of June 12 as democracy day is also symbolic, in that,what Obasanjo failed to recognize all this while, despite being the greatest beneficiary of June 12, a Nigerian of northern extraction has brought to the front burner. Shame to ‘bad people’.
The Federal Government made the decision and officially announced after the Wednesday Federal Executive Council meeting (FEC).
This message was communicated via the President’s official tweeter handle as well as a press statement issue and personally signed by him later yesterday.
It read in parts,
“Accordingly,after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12 would be celebrated as democracy day.
“Therefore government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, GCFR to latw Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 1993 cancelled election.
“His running mate as Vice President Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe is also to be invested with a GCON, furthermore the tireless fighter for human right and the actualization of June 12 elections and indeed for democracy in general, the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN is to be awarded posthumously a GCON.
“The commemoration and investiture will take place on Tuesday June 12, a date which in future years would replace May 29 as a national public holiday in celebration of the Nigerian democracy day.