President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja apologised to the family of the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, over the injustice done to him by the annulment of the election and his eventual untimely death.
Buhari also apologised to the families of others who lost their lives in the struggle for the actualisation of June 12, 1993 presidential election.
“Accordingly, on behalf of the Federal Government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of Late MKO Abiola, who got the highest votes and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of June 12 struggle,” the president said in a speech that drew loud applause from the distinguished audience.
The election, described as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s electoral history was unjustly annulled by the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.), on June 23 same year.
Consequently, Abiola who in search of his mandate, declared himself as the country’s president on June 11, 1994 at Epetedo, Lagos, was arrested and imprisoned by the despotic ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha. Abiola passed on in mysterious circumstances on July 7, 1998 while still in detention.
However, Buhari had in a move to pacify the South-western region where Abiola hailed from, on June 6, 2018 acceded to the region’s long agitation for the declaration of June 12 as a public holiday.
He also announced the conferment of the highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola as well as the conferment of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) on Abiola’s running mate, Baba Gana Kingibe, and a posthumous conferment of GCON on the late foremost rights crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi.