Late MKO Abiola Photo: Encomium

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day and posthumously awarding the honour of GCFR to late MKO Abiola.

MURIC further called on Buhari to also honour Ken Saro Wiwa even as he commended the tireless struggles of Gani Fawehinmi and other SANs, including Femi Falana and Beko Ransome Kuti.

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In a statement sent to Concise News, MURIC’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola said the recognition of June 12 as democracy has quenched their grievances towards the marking Democracy Day on May 29th by previous regimes.

According to MURIC; ” The singular action has marked out President Buhari as a true democrat and a champion of liberty. It belies the allegation of dictatorial tendency leveled against Buhari by his critics. Buhari has taken a step in the right direction and his name will be written in letters of gold in the hall of fame.”

“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) received this great news with great joy. We are overwhelmed with emotions. This is the boldest step ever taken by any civilian administration since 1999. We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for identifying with democratic and progressive elements in this country. The recognition of June 12 is another strong evidence of ‘change’. It further cements Buhari’s forthrightness, courage, love of justice and flair for fairplay.

“June 12th, 1993 was the day Nigerians in their millions expressed their democratic will in the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since independence. But greedy, selfish and tyrannical elements in the military annulled that election and held the winner captive and incommunicado for four years (1994 – 1998).

“His wife, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, who was the greatest heroine of Nigeria’s democracy, was killed in the most bizarre manner while the husband was still in detention. Worse still, the military totalitarian dictators made sure that MKO Abiola, the hero of democracy, died in captivity (July 1998). Nothing could have out-Heroded Herod than the brutalization of the Abiola family and the destabilization of the MKO Abiola family business.

“MURIC has always held that May 29th which was picked by previous regimes to mark Democracy Day was fraudulent and that June 12 was far more truly symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context. To this end, we have issued statements every year since 1999 demanding the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and condemning the celebration of democracy on May 29. We appreciate the Federal Government for eventually sharing this sentiment. It is, indeed, a great achievement for us.

“We doff our hats for the family of the late Chief MKO Abiola especially for their tenacity, doggedness and forbearance in the face of severe trials sequel to the criminal annulment of the results of the June 12, 1993 election and the assassination of MKO. We still grieve over the cruel killing of both MKO and Kudirat, his loving wife. We beseech Allah to forgive the couple, to grant them Al-Jannah and to continue to strengthen their families.

“We send special solidarity message to Muhammed Fawehinmi, son of late Gani Fawehinmi and his mother, Mrs. Ganiyat Fawehinmi, who is indubitably a leading Nigerian amazon and the entire Fawehinmi family.

“We also congratulate all Nigerians for this landmark decision. In particular, and with the Campaign for Democracy (CD) foremost on our mind, we felicitate with civil society and all human rights activists. In this respect, we single out late Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti, foremost leader of the CD, the tireless lawyer, humanist and human rights activist, Femi Falana SAN and Dr. Sylvester Odion Akhaine, CD’s first secretary general.”