President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday apologised to the Nigerians and the MKO Abiola family for the annulment of June 12, 1993, presidential election by former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida.
Buhari who made the apology at the investiture of late MKO Abiola with the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), said the decision to honour the late politician, is not meant to “open old wounds”.
Addressing the gathering at the investiture which held in Abuja, Buhari said that it was wrong for the government of Gen Ibrahim Babangida to have cancelled the election.
Buhari said, “The government (of Ibrahim Babangida) inexplicably cancelled the election when it was clear who was the winner.”
“On behalf of the federal government, I tender the nation’s apology to the family of late MKO Abiola, who got the highest vote [in the election], and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of the June 12 struggle.
“This event is not to open old wounds, but to put light on the nation.”
Buhari noted that though the country cannot rewind its past, “we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed and resolve to stand firm now and ease the future for the sanctity of free elections.”
“Nigerians will no longer tolerate such perversion of justice. This retrospective and posthumous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country,” he added.
Honoured with Abiola on Tuesday were Babagana Kingibe, his running mate at the election and the late human right lawyer, chief Gani Fawehinmi