12 June 2018

Nigeria: Buhari Tenders National Apology to Abiola's Family

Photo: The Guardian
Chief M.K.O. Abiola.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday tendered a national apology to the family of late Chief Moshood Abiola, for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Abiola who was the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was believed to have won the election which was annulled by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

At the conferment of national honours on Abiola, his running mate Babagana Kingibe and late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Buhari also tendered national apologies to all those who struggled for the actuallisation of the election, including journalists, politicians and all other stakeholders.

At the ceremony, Kola, the eldest son of Chief Abiola, received the posthumous national honour conferred on his father. Mrs Ganiat Fawehinmi, wife of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, received her late husband's award, while Ambassador Babagana Kingibe received his own award.

The award of GCFR was bestowed on Abiola, while GCON was conferred on Kingibe and Fawehinmi.

While presenting the awards, Buhari said it was for the grievous injustice done to the country.

The President said it was not to open old wounds of inexplicable annulment of the election which was obviously won by Abiola.

Buhari said: "We recognise that an error has been committed. We will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice.

"This honour is for the grievous injustice done to the country.

"It is meant to assist at healing the wounds and building national reconciliation of the 25 years of wounds caused by the annulment.

"I earnestly urge Nigerians to accept it in good faith and bury the past of June 12.

"We are celebrating June 12 as a democracy sustenance, freedom, unity and national cohesion.It will impact positively on the next generation.

"I tender the nation's apology to the family of MKO Abiola, Also to those who struggle and stood for June 12."

Buhari also declared a minute silence in honour of the victims of June 12.

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