Monday 11 June 2018

MKO Abiola: Dino Melaye Backtracks, Says Abiola’s GCFR Honour Well Deserved And Long Overdue

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Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West, on Sunday, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to honour the late M.K.O. Abiola with the highest national honours of GCFR was deserving and long overdue.

Melaye, on Sunday, however, said for the decision to carry weight, the federal government must mandate the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare Abiola as the winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election.

Recall that Melaye had on Thursday faulted the honour conferred on Abiola by President Muhammdu Buhari, who bestowed the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late politician.

However, Melaye, in a statement he personally signed, proposed amendments to the National Honours Act 1964 to accommodate the current developments.

The Statement reads, “For the last couple of days, I have been inundated with calls and text messages from well-meaning Nigerians, especially my constituents, who want to inquire on my exact position on the declaration of June 12 as the new Democracy Day and the conferment of the highest National Honours of GCFR on the late Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election.

“For the avoidance of doubt, my views and belief on the sanctity of June 12 and the place of the late Chief MKO Abiola in Nigeria’s democratic history, have not changed and will not. Hence, in my view, the decision by the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the late business mogul is deserving and long overdue save for attendant legal issues raised.

“It is a verifiable fact that I have canvassed for this recognition for Chief Abiola over the years, and granted an interview to Channels Television two years ago, where I advocated for same.

“Let me also make it abundantly clear that while both Chief Abiola and the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) deserved more than the GCFR and GCON Honours respectively to be bestowed on them posthumously next Tuesday, it is however important that the right thing is being done in their memory and therefore should not have any blemish in the guise of the current debate for legality or otherwise of the historic Honours as we are witnessing now.

“I urge the Federal Government to do the needful and display sincerity of purpose by officially recognising Chief Abiola as President-elect and cause the official results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election to be released by INEC since President Buhari himself had admitted in the Presidential Order designating June 12 as Democracy Day, the freest and most credible election. By so doing, the GCFR title will therefore have a meaning.

“If the right thing is done now by the Federal Government by proposing amendments to the National Honours Act 1964 to accommodate the current developments, no government in future will reverse the decision.

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