President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s new democracy is still generating reactions, with the latest one coming from Moshood Abiola’s opponent in the 1993 presidential election, Bashir Tofa.
Mr Tofa who was the candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in the historic poll is questioning the propriety of the president’s decision.
In a statement, Mr Tofa says he does not begrudge the posthumous honour accorded to Moshood Abiola, but he is insisting that the right thing must be done at all times.
His comments come after President Buhari on June 6, 2018, declared June 12 as the new democracy day and conferred a posthumous GCFR title on the presumed winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Moshood Abiola.
“Chief Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be awarded a GCON.
“Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, a tireless fighter for human rights and democracy, and for the actualisation of the June 12, 1993 elections, will be posthumously awarded a GCON.”
But the former NRC presidential candidate said that “It is important, for the benefit of history, that all actions from the highest authority in the country be based on fair play and law.
“Whatever may be the prevailing sentiment and politics in Abuja, the idea that June 12 should be the new democracy day is also a matter that deserves serious reconsideration.
“Many people are worried about “the brazen one-sidedness of what he describes as the curious presidential action, especially given the list of invitees to Tuesday’s event at the villa supposedly to mark ‘democracy day’’.
Mr Tofa commended those who believe he should also have been honoured, as he further noted that he “would not accept it as it is even if given in this circumstance”.