President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday tendered an apology on behalf of the Federal Government to the family of late business mogul, MKO Abiola, over the annulment of the June 12 presidential election.
The President who spoke after at a ceremony held to confer Special National Honours Investiture on ‘June 12 champions in Aso Rock also recognised that the late Abiola won the highest number of votes in the election which was annulled by the military president Ibrahim Babangida.
Abiola died after he was arrested and detained by the military in the course of reclaiming the mandate.
Buhari presented awards to late Chief MKO Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and late Gani Fawehinmi at the event in recognition of their roles in the fight for the actualisation of the June 12 presidential election.
Those who witnessed the event were members of families of the recipients and other invited guests.
The Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, Mr Ayo Abe of Civil Society Organisations and Chief Frank Kokori from Labour movement were also present at the event.
Others who witnessed the ceremony include Sen. Bola Tinubu, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Fidelis Tapgun, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Sen. Jonathan Zwingina and Mr Femi Falana.
President Buhari had on June 6 directed that from 2019, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years, would now be celebrated on June 12.
The President directed Malam Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order in Federal Gazette as follows: “Chief MKO Abiola-Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous).
He also directed Malami to gazette Alhaji Babagana Kingibe – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, Chief Gani Fawehinmi – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (Posthumous).
The President said these should be done so that the June 12 award ceremony could go on as planned.