The President had on Thursday declared June 12 Nigeria’s new Democracy Day and conferred the title Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, posthumously, on the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.
MKO’s running mate in the election, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, and the legendary human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, were also honoured – with the title Grand Commander Order of the Niger.
According to a statement by the Personal Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the AGF is expected to take immediate steps to publish in order in the Federal Gazette.
News of the Presidents declaration went viral on Wednesday night and continued to trend through Thursday with many praising the President.
Some Nigerians including opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, were however critical of the timing of the declaration with President Buhari set to stand for re-election in eight months.
The declaration comes 25 years after the widely praised but unfortunately annulled elections and after years of calls by family, friends, associates of Chief MKO as well as statesmen and other stakeholders for him to be so honoured.