June 12: Buhari Apologises To Nigerians

Name and shame June 12 traitors and stop paying loyalty to a tormentor in chief, says Soyinka


After performing the investiture of national honours on heroes of democracy on Tuesday, President Muhammad Buhari tendered a national apology to the family of late Chief Moshood Abiola, for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election adjudged to have been won by Abiola under a free and fair contest.

The investiture which was witnessed by a cross-section of dignitaries and guests invited for the occasion, particularly children of Abiola, namely, Kola, Hasfat and wife of late Gani Fawehinmi, Ganiat, was an occasion Buhari used to say sorry to all those who struggled for the actualisation of the annulled poll.

He said “We recognise that an error has been committed. We will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice. This honour if for the grievous injustice done to the country. It is meant to assist at healing the wounds and building national reconciliation of the 25 years of wounds caused by the annulment. I earnestly urge Nigerians to accept it in good faith and bury the past of June 12. We are celebrating June 12 as a democracy sustenance, freedom, unity and national cohesion. It will impact impact positively on the next generation. I tender the nation’s apology to the family of MKO Abiola, Also to those who struggle and stood for June 12.

Buhari then declared a minute silence in honour of the victims of June 12.

Meanwhile, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Tuesday in Abuja called on Buhari to “name and shame’ those who truncated in the June 12 election and erect a hall of shame for them, including an unnamed actor he described as fit for prison for committing crimes against humanity in the process

Soyinka said: ‘ Today perhaps is also a day to inaugurate our hall of shame so that as we have hall of heroes in one hand  we also have hall of shame as a lesson to future generations. It is not possible to honour MKO Abiola in one breath and admire his tormentor in another breath.

‘‘Loyalty is all very well but loyalty can become perverse if that loyalty is retained to an individual who if he were alive today will be before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. He broke the laws of Nigeria, broke international law and committed crimes against humanity. It is confusing if professional loyalty is carried so far as to be accorded to such an individual.

“There are too many traumatised individuals walking the streets as a result of the policies and attitudes of one of the most brutal dictators that this nation has ever known. Closure will come by responding to those traumatised individuals, the victims of unspeakable tortures, some of whom were compelled to watch their beloved ones being tortured.”