An Islamic group, the Muslim Rights Concern, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12, as democracy day.

The group gave their commendation in a statement on Thursday signed by the director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.

According to the statement, the group is happy and it described the action as “the boldest step ever taken by a civillain administration since 1999 and it applauded the president for “identifying with progressive and democratic elements in the country”.

The statement said: “The recognition of June 12 is another strong evidence of ‘change’. It further cements Buhari’s forthrightness, courage, love of justice and flair for fair play.

“June 12th, 1993 was the day Nigerians in their millions expressed their democratic will in the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since independence. But greedy, selfish and tyrannical elements in the military annulled that election and held the winner captive and incommunicado for four years (1994 – 1998).

“His wife, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, who was the greatest heroine of Nigeria’s democracy, was killed in the most bizarre manner while the husband was still in detention. Worse still, the military totalitarian dictators made sure that MKO Abiola, the hero of democracy, died in captivity (July 1998). Nothing could have out-Heroded Herod than the brutalization of the Abiola family and the destabilization of the MKO Abiola family business.”

MURIC maintained that the previous Democracy Day (May 29th) was fraudulent and that June 12 was far more truly symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian interpretation of it.

It further thanked the Federal government for listening to the cries of the group by recongnising the date as the true date of democracy.

To this end, we have issued statements every year since 1999 demanding the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and condemning the celebration of democracy on May 29. We appreciate the Federal Government for eventually sharing this sentiment. It is, indeed, a great achievement for us.

Akintola also congratulated the family of the late Chief MKO abiola and regretted over the cruel killing of Abiola and the wife, Kudiarat praying that their souls find eternal rest in heaven.

It also congratulated the family of Gani Fawehimi and other activists like Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti, Femi Falana SAN and Dr. Sylvester Odion Akhaine an d others for their various role.

The statement thanked the president and enjoined all Nigerians to support the president for a second term so that he can finish his good works.

It said: “This singular action has marked out President Buhari as a true democrat and a champion of liberty. It belies the allegation of dictatorial tendency leveled against Buhari by his critics. Buhari has taken a step in the right direction and his name will be written in letters of gold in the hall of fame. It is most thoughtful and highly visionary. Buhari has delivered a major dividend of democracy. He has also hearkened to the yearnings of the people.

:But to whom much is given, much is expected. Having proved level-headed, transparent, accountable, prudent and truly democratic, the present administration deserves the support of all Nigerians. Nay, a second term to enable it cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s.

“This epoch-making decision should placate not only members of the old National Democratic Coalition but also Afenifere, all Egba sons and daughters and the Yoruba as a whole. Contrary to the misleading belief that Yorubas are marginalized, a Northerner, nay, a Fulani president has recognized a Yoruba hero. Not only that, a Yoruba man is the current number two citizen, a Yoruba man holds three powerful ministries: power, works and housing. This is in addition to two other major portfolios, viz, finance and communications held by two other prominent Yoruba citizens. The Yoruba never had it so rosy.

The group also called on President Buhari to look into the case of Ken Saro Wiwa and that the Ijaws still moan his demise.

It said: “Yet like Oliver Twist, MURIC will ask for more from the father of this great nation, President Muhammadu Buhari. The declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day will definitely heal wounds and we appeal that another giant step should be taken to heal more wounds. We are referring to the case of Ken Saro Wiwa, the environmental activist of the Niger Delta. His case still hurts the Ogoni people in particular and the Niger Delta region in general.

“We in MURIC believe that the killing of Ken Saro Wiwa was extra-judicial, unlawful, illegitimate and unconstitutional. Ken was murdered in his prime before his appeal was due. His killing was one of the unwise and unpatriotic actions taken by the military to fuel the hatred of one Nigerian ethnic group for another. We appeal to Mr. President to review his case, grant him presidential pardon, compensate his family adequately and give him a posthumous award of no less a status than the one given Gani Fawehinmi.”

It called on religious leaders in churches and mosques to pray for peace and love to reign in the land and for wisdom and guidance for President Buhari.

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