Ahead of the planned and newly greed democracy day celebrations for June 12, in honour of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, M.K.O. Abiola, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has kicked against the conferment of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
The party’s National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam made this known in Abuja while addressing newsmen ahead of the June 12 celebration, premising the party’s stance on the fact that, the honor to be conferred on Kingibe “is glaringly misplaced and self-serving”.
The party averred that Ambassador Kingibe renounced the June 12 mandate as mandate as quickly as the military gave him “a pot of porridge. He accepted ministerial appointments, first as foreign minister and later as minister of interior under the Abacha administration. Kingibe did not participate in the struggle, hence does not deserve this national honour”.
The party stated that, “it is believed that this good work of the president may have been orchestrated by Kingibe, a known member of Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, who is beating the path for Buhari’s victory in the 2019 presidential election. It is obvious that Nigerians are seeing through government’s decision in this respect, as the legitimate action of recognizing Abiola’s sacrifice for democracy should not blind Nigerians to the fact that there is need to change the All Progressives Congress (APC) Change mantra in 2019”.
While The party commended the presidency for taking the bold step of acknowledging the wishes of Nigerians who voted in 1993, they however queried the timing and how long it took the Buhari administration which is over three years old, to acknowledge the sacrifice that Abiola made for democracy to be established in the country.
“All the intelligence reports and other information necessary for government to have taken this decision had been available to the Presidency in the last three years. This right decision should have been taken earlier than now and that would have given this administration the opportunity to mark June 12 as Democracy day”, the party said.