Twenty-five years after the historic June 12, 1993 elections, the Nigerian government is honouring the presumed winner of the presidential election, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, and other heroes of the country’s democracy.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday formally conferred the title of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which is recognised as the freest in the country’s history.
The conferment of the honour also comes almost 20 years after Abiola died in detention after being jailed by military dictator General Sani Abacha for trying to claim his mandate.
Key players of June 12 struggle were invited by the President to witness the conferment of the titles on the democracy heroes.
Among the top key players invited by President Buhari include human-activist Wole Soyinka and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana.
Also, all governors elected under Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP) platform were invited to the investiture which took place at the State House, Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The family of M.K.O. Abiola and that of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, alongside and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe were present at the event.
Among those invited were the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and former APC national Chairman, Bisi Akande were also invited.
Also on the guest list are Members of the National Executive Committee of the SDP including States Chairmen and Secretaries at the time of June 12, 1993, Former Senate Presidents – Iyorchia Ayu and Ameh Ebute and Speaker Agunwa Anekwe along with Principal Officers of the National Assembly elected under SDP platform,
Speakers of the States Assembly elected under SDP platform, and All Chairmen of the States Traditional Councils from the six South-Western States.
Some journalists who played a key role in the June 12 struggle were also invited – Bayo Onanuga, Kunle Ajibade, Nosa Igiebor, Kayode Komolafe and Senator Jonathan Zwingina.
Others are Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori, Ms. Ayo Obe and Professor Humphrey Nwosu.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogora, Principal Officers of the National Assembly, Members of the Federal Executive Council and all State Governors will also be at the event.