President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated national honors on the heroes of democracy and tendered a national apology to the family of the late Chief Moshood Abiola, for the annulment of the presidential election of June 12, 1993, that had been won by Abiola.
MKO Abiola and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe were the candidates of Social Democratic Pary (SDP) that contested in the 1993 election.
Buhari also issued a national apology to all those who fought for the election actualization, including journalists, politicians, and all other stakeholders.
The President personally conferred the title to Mr. Kola Abiola, son of MKO Abiola; Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi, wife of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi; and Ambassador Babagana Kingigbe, who was the vice-presidential candidate for Abiola.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he has presented the awards so as to heal old wounds from the inexplicable annulment of the election which was clear to have been won by MKO Abiola.
“We recognise that an error has been committed.
“We will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice.
“This honour if for the grievous injustice done to the country.
“It is meant to assist at healing the wounds and building national reconciliation of the 25 years of wounds caused by the annulment.
“I earnestly urge Nigerians to accept it in good faith and bury the past of June 12.
“We are celebrating June 12 as a democracy sustenance, freedom, unity and national cohesion.
“It will impact impact positively on the next generation.
“I tender the nation’s apology to the family of MKO Abiola, Also to those who struggle and stood for June 12.”
Buhari declared a minute silence in honour of the victims of June 12.
Mr. Kola Abiola and his sister Hafsat Biola spoke on behalf of the family of MKO Abiola, saluting Buhari for the honour done to the gladiators of June 12 and for honouring their father.
Hafsat said, “Today is important because it presents the unity of Nigeria.”
She appealed to all politicians to appreciate Nigerians,
“I urge all Nigerians to support President Buhari.”
Acknowledging the apology tendered by Buhari, Hafsat in her stoic philosophy, also apologized to President Buhari and members of his family.
“On behalf of the MKO Abiola family, I apologize to you and your family for anything that we would have done to hurt you and your family.