Our Correspondents who sampled their opinion in Enugu reports that the respondents called on Nigerians to institutionalize the major attributes of the 1993 election, which was fairness and credibility.
For twenty five years now, the issue of the annulled 1993 Presidential election supposedly won by a Philanthropist, the Late Chief MKO Abiola and his running mate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe had continued to resurface in the political annals of the country especially when the issue of election takes the centre stage.
The declaration of June 12 as a new date to mark Democracy Day by President Buhari and past humus honouring of Chief Abiola and his running mate Alhaji kingibe as well as the most vocal human rights activist at that time, Chief Gani Fayemi was said to have put to an end the agitations.
Speaking with Radio Nigeria, an Enugu based legal practitioner, Chief Fabian Nwigbo said the statement from the government should have come earlier than now but expressed joy that the nation was beginning to appreciate the essence of free and fair elections, which characterized the annulled election.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Paul Nnajiofor advised the Federal Government to accord the family of the Late Chief Abiola all the privileges of the office of the President as a way of showing that the honour was well intended.
A former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in the State, Chief Nwanjoku and a Law maker, Mr James Akadu believed that the declaration was politically motivated and urged the President to reverse the statement.
Also contributing, a youth activist, Mr Chinedu Aroh commended President Buhari for addressing the injustice meted to Chief Abiola but has a contrary view on the June 12 declaration as the nation’s Democracy Day.
Before now, states in the western part of the country marked June twelve of every year as public Holiday.
Also, some residents of Ebonyi State say the designation of June Twelve as Democracy day would further strengthen the nation’s democracy.
The respondents want President Muhammadu Buhari to further ensure that other controversial issues impeding the growth of democracy in the country were resolved.
A Legal Practitioner, Mr Arthur Nwaji said though the recognition was belated, it was a demonstration that truth could not be suppressed.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Mr Obinna Ije commended President Buhari for recognizing that the wish of the people was suppressed but stressed that the best way to celebrate Chief Abiola’s sacrifice for the nation was to ensure that the tenets of democracy were abided by all Nigerians.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor David Umahi, Mr Emmanuel Uzor said the move was to consolidate the peace of the nation and urged President Buhari to come up with a workable policy to further reunite the country.
However, others including Mr Obianuju Eze saw the move as political strategy to swell the reelection support base of Mr. President.
OBINNA OGBUKA & AMECHI ODO