The Senate has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for honouring the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
While backing the declaration of June 12 as the new Democracy Day, the Senate resolved that the Independent National Electoral Commission (then the National Electoral Commission) should declare the results of the 1993 election.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly also resolved that Buhari should take a step further by declaring June 12 a national holiday.
In addition, the lawmakers resolved that Buhari should declare Abiola and Kingibe as ex-president and former vice-president and should approve the entitlements due them as former president and vice-president, respectively.
The Senate further resolved that May 29 should remain the date for the inauguration of elected public officials to prevent tenure elongation.
These were the prayers unanimously granted by the lawmakers following the adoption of a point of order raised by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (Ogun-Central) at the plenary on Thursday for the Senate to affirm the declarations made by Buhari.
Buhari had on Wednesday directed that the nation’s Democracy Day would henceforth hold on June 12 of every year as against the current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.
The President also resolved to honour Abiola with the highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.
Apart from Abiola, Buhari said he would also honour Kingibe and the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, with the second highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Niger, while their investiture would take place on June 12.
Raising the point of order, Tejuoso noted, “President MKO is my constituent and my constituency has given birth to at least three heads of state in the country – from President MKO Abiola to Chief Ernest Shonekan to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; it is the presidential constituency of Nigeria.”
He said, “I want to refer this Senate to an occurrence in Kenya about three weeks ago when they had a national day of prayer and fasting, and the president of that country in his wisdom and spirit of sportsmanship invited the opposition leader in a reconciliatory move to restore peace into the politics of Kenya.