- President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day in a press statement released on Wednesday June 6, 2018. He also honoured late Chief MKO Abiola with a posthumous award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi with a posthumour award of Grand Commander of the Order of Niger(GCON).
However, the declaration stirred up mixed reactions, some of which are as follows:
Nuhu Ribadu commented to his twitter page thanking President Buhari for the said date declaration as Democracy Day. Beyond celebration of democracy, this is a celebration of struggle and sacrifice for the collective good. He stated.
Dr. Reuben Abati, described the president’s gesture as a ploy by the present government to revive its dying popularity. He stated that the president’s gesture came because long before now, his government had wanted to review its strategy of engagement with the public, as it hoped to move from blame-passing, propaganda, in-fighting and enemy-seeking approach to a more legacy-driven, result-oriented mode.
Former Aviation Minister , Femi Fani- Kayode commended President Buhari on his twitter page for announcing the said date as the country’s new Democracy Day. He also commended him for the posthumous award honoured to late MKO Abiola.
Also, Human rights activist, Femi Falana, stated that the conferment of the posthumous award on the late Abiola and the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, have validated the integrity of the free and fair election that was criminally annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida military government.
Below is the statement by Mr President.