On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari changed the date of democracy day from My 29 to June 12. This was done in honour of late Chief Moshood Kashimowo Olawale Abiola, a devout Muslim who was the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which results were annulled by the then military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB).
The president himself further explained that June 12 was an actual symbol of democracy as it was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful election since independence. Abiola who emerged as winner was not allowed to assume office due to the annulment of the result.
He died while struggling to actualise the mandate. Abiola was the president which Nigerians never had. This singular act of the president has given Nigerians a ray of hope that the Buhari administration is going to be a success.
Abiola’s family expressed this as their long awaited wish that has been granted and needs to be celebrated. Nigerians, especially the Yoruba, are very grateful to Mr President for granting Abiola this honour and also expressed their wish to support the Buhari administration.
The Yoruba were very disappointed by the act of annulment by IBB and referred to the northern administration as a dominating one, but Buhari has made it clear that this is not true by his act which was found very impressive by them and the northern administration has again earned the trust of Nigerians.
Some expressed his act as what is going to enhance or promote peace and integrity among Nigerians. It is going to bring about unity in the country regardless of which religion you belong to, your ethnicity and culture.
He has set an example of what a good leader should do. Buhari who was also a former military president has rectified or rather addressed the injustice of the past military administration of 1993.
Nigerians now believe that Buhari’s action shows he is a true democrat and a leader who listens to the whishes and aspirations of Nigerians.
Millions of Nigerians have decided to join hands in saluting this singular act of the president and referring to it to a watershed in the history of recovery or compensation for the past wrongdoings.
Rafiatu Bello Muhammad,
Department of Mass Communication,
Bayero University, Kano