Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State on Thursday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the late business mogul, Chief Moshood Abiola, the highest national honour in the country.
The governor, who gave the commendation at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, said he was overwhelmed by the president’s action.
He, however, urged the president to also declare Abiola the winner of the June 12, 1993 poll.
”It is then that the highest title of GCFR conferred on him would have constitutional backing. The honour done to late MKO Abiola by President Buhari is indeed a welcome development.
”Though we think the president might be doing all of these for political reasons, it is still a welcome development,’’ Fayose said.
The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress(APC) also praised the president for honouring the late businessman.
The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun, told newsmen that the APC was delighted that the president honoured Abiola, his running mate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehimi.
He said the president displayed a rare courage in addressing the nagging question of the relevance of the June 12 election in Nigeria’s democratic credentials.
Olatunbosun said the president had put to rest the pretensions and injustice inherent in the most peaceful and transparent election in the nation’s electoral process.
“Abiola is adjudged the winner and hero of our democracy for standing against the jackboots of the military dictators and paying the supreme price for being a resolute democrat
“Abiola won the freest and fairest election without religious and tribal sentiments in the history of electoral process and democratisation in Nigeria.
“But most unfortunately, the conspiracy of the same capitalist agents that truncated Nigerians’ dream to have the late MKO Abiola as president are now in PDP
”They were the ones who benefited and assumed the control of our national government on the strength of June 12 symbolic history, struggle and sacrifice
“After profiting bountifully from the blood of MKO, they decided to selfishly and wickedly ignore that iconic national symbol and hero of democracy to give him a deserved place in history.
”We are happy that another hero of democracy without tribal sentiment, who is also a progressive leader, President Buhari, has demonstrated integrity by not only honouring this fact of history, but has also done honour to the hero of democracy who sacrificed his life to ensure that democracy establishes root in Nigeria,” he said.
He said it was disheartening that those who benefited from the late Abiola’s sacrifices chose to impose “an inconsequential and administrative day, May 29, as the nation’s Democracy Day instead of June 12.”
“June 12 is our own Democracy Day and we will surely celebrate our hero and many others who struggled and sacrificed their lives so that we can have the people’s government which Nigerians are enjoying today.
“It is time for us in Ekiti to reclaim our land for the rescue mission so that our people can enjoy the benefits of good governance,’’ he said.
A former spokesman of the Yoruba social-cultural organisation, Afenifee, Dayo Adeyeye, commended the foresight of the president in taking the decision to honour late Abiola and Fawehinmi.
The immediate past Minister of Works and former gubernatorial aspirant of PDP in Ekiti, said the president had succeeded in writing his name in gold in the annals of the country’s political history.