Global attention is riveted on Nigeria today as the country institutionalises a new Democracy Day in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
June 12, the day the botched presidential election was held in 1993 has been picked by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as the new democracy day.
The day has been backed by law. It was originally May 29.
The new date is in honour of the winner of the botched election, Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, popularly called MKO.
•President acknowledging cheers
His election was annulled by the military president then Gen Ibrahim Babangida. Abiola later declared himself winner of the poll which led to his arrest and detention by the military government.
He later died in detention in mysterious circumstances.
There had been clamoring for the June 12 to be recognized as democracy day. These were not honoured by previous governments.
Of particular note was allegation against former President Olusegun Obasanjo who himself was in prison but brought out to become President allegedly to pacify the South west Yoruba over the death of Abiola.
At the event today is President Buhari alongside other world leaders who have come to witness the event.
Other Nigerian leaders at the event are the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors, former Office holders and others.
Follow Updates Below:
10:22: President Buhari Arrives the Eagle Square venue of event.
The President immediately inspects the Guard of honour.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Osibanjo had arrived the venue at about 10:00am, some fifteen minutes before the President arrived.
Also, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila have also arrived at the Eagles Square.
Meanwhile members of the late MKO Abiola’s family were also present at the Eagles Square.
11:56am: President Buhari Commences his speech.
Earlier, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu also arrived the venue of the celebration around 9:22a.m.
Notable personalities at the Eagles Square venue are the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwosi II, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia.
State governors at the event included those of Osun, Kogi, Kano, Yobe, Kwara, Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, Anambra.
Former ministers including Lai Mohammed, Solomon Dalung, Mansur Dan-Ali, Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, members of the diplomatic corps, and service chiefs were also at the venue.
Obasanjo, Jonathan Absent
Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan were absent at the event at the Eagles Square venue of the 2019 Democracy Day celebration when the event started.
Recall that former President Obasanjo has been a staunch critic of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
In a move to honour the late democracy hero, Buhari had shifted annual celebration of Democracy Day from May 29th to June 12th.
Abiola had run for the presidency in 1993, but the election results were annulled by former military President, Ibrahim Babangida.
Buhari, on the 6th of June 2018 had also awarded Abiola posthumously with Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), meant only for Presidents.