Buhari deserves the praise on June 12
Sir: The proclamation of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari is without doubt a smart move. One brilliant step that has positioned Mr. President as enlisting himself on the right side of history is by righting the wrongs of the past.
It is instructive that three leaders before him – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President Umar Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan- failed to see the merit in re-visiting the June 12 saga in 16 years when the Peoples’ Democratic Party held sway in the country.
The declaration, as many patriotic commentators have observed, is better late than never; there is never a wrong to assuage the ill feelings which have trailed the annulment of an election seen by all as very fair, free and peaceful. It was indeed one election which gave a pan-Nigeria mandate to Chief MKO Abiola and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe. Despite a few cynical interpretations in some quarters, a diverse section of Nigerians are appreciative of this gesture. The positive reactions so far are not limited to the Yorubas in the South West and parts of North Central geo-political zones, their friends across Nigeria and in Diaspora, who strongly believed the Nigerian State has been unfair to Abiola who himself was a bridge builder across political, religious and ethnic lines.
The President by the Executive Order on June 12 has proved the bookmakers wrong that if any leader at all will right the wrongs done to a section of the country, it can never be PMB. By so doing he has erased the blemishes on his personality and removed the tar of a sectional leader.
And to all those criticizing the President for overriding the law on May 29 as Democracy Day, suffice to say that the law was made for man and not the other way. The law can always be amended to reflect the popular sentiment and the wishes of the people.
President Buhari has earned for himself and the APC government enormous goodwill, riding on the crest of very strong public sentiments to be fair and just at all times. By declaring June 12 as Democracy Day, Buhari has earned the confidence of many Nigerians as a leader that can act right in the defence and protection of national interest.
Abdullahi Maigari wrote from Garki, Abuja.