The governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to go all the way by declaring the results of the June 12, 1993 elections.
He also said the president should declare the late Moshood Abiola as President having won the cancelled 1993 elections.
Mr Fayose spoke on the declaration of Mr Buhari of June 12 as Democracy Day.
Mr Abiola is acclaimed to have won the 1993 presidential election famed as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s history but which was annulled by the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida before the result was officially declared.
Mr Buahri also honoured Mr Abiola posthumously with the award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
But Mr Fayose said Mr Buhari should declare the late politician as President because only a president merited the honour of a GCFR.
“The honour done to Late Moshood Olawale Abiola (MKO) by President Mohammadu Buhari is a welcome development,” he said.
“We thank the President, even though we know it is for political reasons, we see it as a step in the right direction.
“We urge President Mohammadu Buhari to go to the next level and declare MKO the President of Nigeria because MKO won the election, but the then dictator, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida denied Nigerians that victory and the opportunity to have Abiola as our President.
“Having realised that they goofed, they have come out to right the wrong. Besides, you can’t keep such title of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR) without being the President of Nigeria, therefore the President should be courageous enough by declaring the results of the election and declare Abiola the winner of the June 12 poll.
“This is a lesson that what you do today will be reference point for others tomorrow.
“We condemn the annulment of the June12 Presidential poll results, brutality of Nigerians who protested against it, election rigging, brute force and manipulations during elections.”
Mr Fayose also stated on his twitter handle, @GovAyoFayose, on Thursday that the greatest honour to be bestowed on Mr Abiola by the Buhari administration would be to conduct free and fair elections.
“MKO Abiola is worthy to be honoured and we in Ekiti honoured him with a public holiday on June 12, 2017, we will do it again this year,” he twitted.
“However, the greatest honour anyone can bestow on MKO Abiola is total respect for the rule of law and conduct of free, fair and credible elections.”
But the All Progressives Congress in the state has alleged that the governor had threatened to punish Ekiti people who observe June 12 as Democracy Day.
“Let Fayose know and understand that instigating Ekiti people to disobey the President’s lawful public declaration as granted by the Constitution and his threat to punish Ekiti people who observe June 12 as Democracy Day is not only an affront to the authority of the President of Nigeria that he swore to uphold, but also a treasonable and seditious conduct over which he should be ready to face the law after losing his immunity,” Taiwo Olatunbosun, spokesperson for the party, said.
“APC members and all progressives will roll out the drums on June 12 in our characteristic manner to celebrate all the heroes and heroines of democracy in our land, either dead or alive,”
The party praised President Buhari for honouring the late businessman and politician, Mr Abiola, with a post-humous award of GCFR.
APC also applauded the president for declaring June 12 Nigeria’s Democracy Day to replace May 29.
The President also honoured Mr Abiola’s running mate, Babagana Kingibe; and late human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehimi, with the second highest national honours of the Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
The party also said Mr Buhari had addressed the nagging question on the relevance of June 12 election in Nigeria’s democratic credentials, and that he had put to rest the pretensions and injustice “inherent in the most peaceful and transparent election in the nation’s electoral process.”
“Abiola is adjudged the winner and hero of our democracy for standing against the jackboots of the military dictators and paying the supreme price for being a resolute democrat,” said Mr Olatunbosun.
“Abiola won the freest and fairest election without religious and tribal sentiments in the history of electoral process and democratization in Nigeria, but most unfortunately the conspiracy of the same capitalism agents that truncated Nigerians’ dream to have the late MKO Abiola as the President are now in PDP who benefited and assumed the control of our national government on the strength of June 12 symbolic history, struggle, and sacrifice.
“After profiting bountifully from the blood of MKO, they decided to selfishly and wickedly ignore that iconic national symbol and hero of democracy to give him a deserved place in history.
“Today, we are happy that another hero of democracy without tribal sentiment, who is also a progressive leader, President Buhari, has demonstrated integrity by not only honouring this fact of history, but has also done honour to the hero of democracy, who sacrificed his life to ensure that democracy establishes root in Nigeria.”