The United Progressive Party (UPP) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent declaration proclaiming June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day and further commended him for bestowing the posthumous award of Grand Commander of the Federal
Republic (GCFR) to late Chief MKO Abiola, Grand Commander of Nigeria (GCON) to late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Grand Commander of Nigeria (GCON) to Alhaji Babagana Kingibe.
It also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to take further step\ to give Prof. Humphrey Nwosu who is still alive and who stood at the risk of his life on the sanctity of the June 12 presidential election, adding that Nwosu practically went on self-exile for serving his country patriotically, diligently and with high degree of principle and integrity.
“Prof. Humphrey Nwosu had many options including declaring the election inconclusive. All other options would have rendered June 12 a non-event. Prof. Humphrey Nwosu continued to live low profile almost to the point of being a recluse all because he served his country honestly and sincerely. It will therefore be incomplete if Prof. Humphrey Nwosu is not adequately and appropriately recognised for the role he played”, it said.
The party in a statement by the national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie and made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja, yesterday, said the proclamation and the awards to the principal dramatis personae of the June 12 presidential election is an act of courage, justice and patriotism.
“The significance of the outcome of June 12 presidential election goes beyond the presumed winner of that election, Chief MKO Abiola. The positive implication of the result of that election includes the fact that if Nigerians could in a presidential election overwhelmingly vote for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket as was the case of MKO Abiola and his running mate Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, the same people could have attained a greater national cohesion, unity, socio-cultural and religious tolerance and nationalism 25 years after such a historic and unprecedented mandate that was given to a man who in all considerations earned the mandate that he was given by his various earlier acts of statesmanship and philanthropy across religious and ethnic boundaries. It is unfortunate that Nigeria has retrogressed rather than build on the foundation laid on June 12, 1993”, it said.
The party disagreed with those who advance the argument that President Muhammadu Buhari was merely playing politics with such a monumental act of courage and patriotism. “In 25 years a number of administrations were persuaded, including public protests, for June 12 to be given special recognition and the late Chief MKO Abiola to be properly honoured. By our own assessment it was those that paid deaf ear to such a legitimate demand that played politics with the incidence of June 12, because they thought that it was politically correct to distance their administration from June 12”, it noted
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