Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo’s party, the African Democratic Congress, ADC, has reacted to the change of the Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday announced the change of date in honour of the late MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
Reacting to the development, the party, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Akin Osuntokun, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to confer honours on Chief Moshood Abiola and the human rights activist Chief Gani Fawehinmi for their courageous fight for democracy.
It, however, criticized the recognition given to Mr. Babagana Kingibe, saying ”he proved so unworthy in his subsequent misconduct of vicarious collaboration in the persecution unto death of his heroic principal in the June 12 1993 presidential election.”
The statement reads: “In substance, the recognition and honour that President Mohammadu Buhari has bestowed on the winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola and the peerless civil rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, is the right thing to do and we join other Nigerians to welcome it.
“Further recognition and designation of the date of the historic election date, June 12, as a public holiday and Democracy Day positively reinforces the goodwill gesture.
“Without derogation from this recognition, we are less certain that the date should be or needs to supersede the independence day of Nigeria, October 1st 1960. More clarity is required since the signed statement appears to be in confusion over the date-which it cited as October 21st.
“We urge the president to follow the Abiola recognition to its logical conclusion by pronouncing and gazetting him as elected president of Nigeria.
“Less deserving of honour is Mr. Babagana Kingibe for proving so unworthy in his subsequent misconduct of vicarious collaboration in the persecution unto death of his heroic principal in the June 12 1993 presidential election.
“However ‘a befitting commemoration of June 12 must be stripped of the political opportunism of the moment. A situation in which slices of national history are hawked as political wares on the eve of elections must be avoided.
“June 12 is a national memorial, a day that Nigerians rose above their differences to make an important point in favour of democracy and unity.”