Abuja – Civil Society Organisations have described President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day and honour to late Chief MKO Abiola as “beginning of Nigeria’s healing from injustice’’.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu , Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform (PER), one of the CSOs, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the gesture called for a sober moment for the nation.
According to Nwagwu, the president gave Nigerians a gift that is heavy and massive because he delved into 25 years long injustice done to a family.
“By this act, the healing process for Nigeria has begun.
“What is even more endearing is the public presidential apology Buhari tendered to the family of the Abiolas for the injustice that they have gone through.
“There is no better sober moment in the country than this gift the president has just given to it.’’
Mr Clement Nwankwo, Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) told NAN that the president’s gesture was a welcomed one.
Nwankwo said that it was a good thing that the struggles of Nigerians on the issue were not in vain.
He commended Buhari for declaring June 12 democracy day, adding that it would address the injustice created by the military government to some measure.
He expressed hope that the president would maintain and imbibe the values portrayed by his gesture.
“What we want to see the president do is himself respect the principles of transparency and accountability that June 12 symbolises.
“These are respect for human rights, respect for court orders and do things in accordance with the law,’’ Nwankwo said.
On his part, Mr Mohammed Nalado, National Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said that he supported the president’s act.
Nalado said that June 12 was the catalyst for democratic rule in the country.
According to him, it was after the June 12 squabbles that some veterans stood on their feet to make sure that democracy stood in the country.
“Democracy has been standing since then and we have had 19 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria and it is all because of June 12.
“ It has also stood because of people that took the trouble to make sure that democracy comes to stay in Nigeria.
“So, it is a good thing the president did and this will help Nigerians remember all that happened and the lessons learnt; so, making June 12 democracy day will give it that memory.’’
Nalado congratulated the president for taking the bold step, especially moving democracy day from May 29 to June 12. (NAN)