President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate gazetting of his order that the Democracy Day should now be celebrated on June 12 from the hitherto May 29, as well as the posthumous award on the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola as the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
Buhari directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Shehu Malami SAN to take immediate steps to publish his order in the Federal Gazette.
The President had, in the statement he personally signed, asserted that June 12 1993, the date of a presidential election considered to be the fairest in Nigeria’s history, “was far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29 or even October 1”.
However, in a statement issued on Thursday by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari demanded that his directive should be carried out so that the proposed honours can be awarded as planned.
The statement reads, “Following his declaration yesterday that henceforth, June 12 be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria and that some heroes of democracy be given national honours, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Shehu Malami to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order in the Federal Gazette as follows:
“Chief MKO Abiola – Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous)
“Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger
“Chief Gani Fawehinmi -Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (Posthumous)
“The President also directed that this should be done so that the awards slated for June 12, 2018 can go on as planned.”