Friday, June 8, 2018 2:37 pm
• Praises the President for Honouring Abiola, Declering New Democracy Day
Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for immortalizing the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola with the highest award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, GCFR. The Governor reasoned that, though, the award was belated, but added that, the gesture will partly address the wrongs of the past and strengthen our democracy, stressing that, it is better late than never.
Having bestowed the highest award only reserved for Heads of state, Presidents, the Governor called on PMB to declare Abiola as a President that was never sworn in and urgently sponsor an executive bill to the National Assembly in order to legitimize it and back it up by Act of Parliament, when passed into law. He said declaring June 12 as Democracy Day, giving national honour to Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as well as, giving posthumous national awards to Abiola and the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi were in order.
The Governor, however, calls on PMB to show the same political will and patriotism showed on June 12, on the critical issue of Restructuring Nigeria. He said the president should ensure that Nigeria is Restructured with power devolved from the centre to the federating units and fiscal federalism enthroned to guarantee balance, peace, prosperity and stability in the country. He said a restructured Nigeria will address the dysfunctional system, over concentration of power at the centre, pseudo- federalism and the expropriation of the resources of the Niger Delta. While stressing that, those championing the cause of restructuring are the real patriots, the Governor believes PMB will etch his name on the sands of time and become “a Nigerian hero of all times, if he restructures the country.”
The Governor also urged the President to honour the then Chairman of National Electoral Commission (NEC), Professor Humphrey Nwosu with a national award for his uncommon courage and commitment to the conduct of transparent elections in June, 1993, stressing that, what is good for the goose is also saucy for the gander.
He said: “I commend the President for the courage to immortalize the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election with the highest national honour of GCFR as well as declaring June 12 as Democracy Day. Having honored Abiola with the highest award only reserved for presidents or heads of state, I urge him to declare Abiola a president that was never sworn in, and then go a step further to Gazette and sponsor a bill to the National Assembly to legitimize his proclamations backed by law. He should also honour the then Chairman of National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Humphrey Nwosu for the courage to conduct a transparent election for what is good for the goose is same for the gander.
“As member of House of Reps, I co-sponsored a bill to immortalize MKO Abiola to address the wrong done to Abiola and our democracy. So I believe by the president’s proclamation, he continued from where we stopped and in my opinion, it was the right thing to do. Though it is belated but it is better late than never! I want the President to show the same political will and patriotism on the burning issue of Restructuring Nigeria to address the wrong done to the Nigeria people.
“I believe restructuring will balance the dysfunctional system, guarantee peace, prosperity and stability in the country where everybody has equal stake. Those clamouring for restructuring are the real patriots. PMB will etch his name on the sands of time and become a Nigerian hero of all times if he restructures the country…’’