June 12: Buhari directs immediate gazetting of Presidential Order
To forestall any form of legal crisis and legitimacy debate, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Justice to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order on June 12, to be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria in the Federal Gazette.
This information is contained in a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement read: “Following his declaration yesterday that henceforth, June 12, be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria and that some heroes of democracy be given national honours.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Shehu Malami to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order in the Federal Gazette as follows:
“Chief MKO Abiola-Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous).
“Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
“Chief Gani Fawehinmi – Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (Posthumous).’’
“The President also directed that this should be done so that the awards slated for June 12, 2018 can go on as planned.’’
Buhari had on Wednesday directed that effective from 2019, Nigerian Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years be shifted to the June 12.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the directive was to honour “an illustrious son of Nigeria, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola”.
Late Abiola, the acclaimed winner of a presidential election in 1993, was prevented from taking office when the results were annulled and he later died while struggling to actualise his mandate.
Shehu said Abiola would be conferred with nation’s highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) exclusively conferred on the holders of the highest office in the country, the President.
He stated that in the same vein, Chief Abiola’s running mate in that election, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, would also be conferred with the second highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
Shehu added that the late Nigeria’s foremost pro-democracy activist, Gani Fawehinmi, would receive the title of a GCON.