PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to the family of Moshood Abiola, for the injustice done to the late politician by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida, by annulling the June 12, 1993 general election which was generally believed to have been won by Abiola.
Buhari said this while delivering his speech at the event to confer a posthumous national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola, as a mark of recognition of his victory in the election which has been described as the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history.
“On behalf of the federal government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of the late M.K.O Abiola, who got the highest vote, and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of June 12 struggle,” Buhari said in a voice that sounded teary.
“We cannot rewind the past, but we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed, and resolve to stand firm, now and in the future, for the sanctity of free elections.
“Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice.
“This retrospective and post humous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country.
“Our decision to recognise and honour June 12 and its actors, is in the National interest. It is aimed at settling national hidden process, and reconciliation of the 25-year festering wound caused by the annullment of the June 12 elections.
“I honestly invite all Nigerians across all our national divide to accept it in good fate.
“Our action today is to bury the negative side of June 12. The side of ill feelings, hate, frustration and agony.
“What we are doing is celebrating and appreciating the positive side of June 12: the June 12 which listed democracy and freedom, the June 12 that overcome our various divides, and the June 12 that produced unity and national cohesion.
“This is the June 12 we are celebrating today and we will nurture it to our next generation.”