President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the conferment of national honours on three distinguished Nigerians for their immense contributions to the enthronement of democratic governance in the country.
They are: Chief Agunwa Anekwe, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and two former presidents of the Senate, Iyorchia Ayu and Ameh Ebute. All three were leaders of the National Assembly in the Third Republic.
Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), made the announcement on Tuesday in Abuja in an address at the conferment of national honours on Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Amb. Babagana Kingibe.
He said that the investiture of the three former legislators will take place at a later date.
“These awards serve as a public acknowledgement of their pivotal contribution to nationhood and a further demonstration of this administration’s commitment to upholding the ethos of democratic governance,” the SGF said.
He stressed that the proclamation of June 12 as Democracy Day was a public recognition of the country’s heroes whose “supreme efforts laid the foundation for our nascent democracy. ”
“Today marks a new dawn in the nation’s political and democratic advancement signalling the deepening of our belief in the democratic principles of inclusiveness in governance and hope for a greater Nigeria.
“The monumental election that took place on June 12, 1993, represented the first time in the history of our nation that Nigerians voted not for tribe or creed or region but for their convictions, affirming their common heritage and unity of purpose,” he said.
Mustapha added: “June 12, more than any other day, symbolized the varied struggles and sacrifices made by fellow citizens of this great nation, established democracy as our political system of governance, and opened a new chapter in the political history.
“It is in commemoration of this day, the spirit of which should be internalized in the consciousness of Nigerians of all ages and taught to our children and generations of Nigerians yet unborn, that this administration has, in placing history in the right perspective, declared June 12 of every year as Democracy Day and as a national holiday.”