*Mocks Buhari’s depiction of June 12 as superior to October 1
*Says National history must not be hawked for electoral gain
*Slams honour on Kingibe, says he is unworthy of the honour
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo inspired alliance of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement CNM and the African Democratic Congress, ADC have praised 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.
A statement jointly issued by the two bodies yesterday, however, frowned at the portrayal by President Buhari in the statement that June 12 was more important than the nation’s Independence Day even as it bemoaned what it described as the attempt to hawk slices of national history for electoral gain. The statement issued by the CNM’s spokesperson, Mr. Akin Osuntokun further slammed the recognition given to Babagana Kingibe saying it was unworthy of the man who allegedly collaborated with the persecutors of his principal and the June 12 mandate.
The statement read thus:
“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.