June 12 Restoration is Buhari’s Best Gift to Nigerians, Says Edebiri


By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

A Benin high chief, and the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, has described President Mohammadu Buhari’s honour to late Chief Moshood Abiola as the best gift for Nigerians.

Edebiri said it was a master stroke that would win the heart of many Nigerians, even though some critics insist it was done for political reasons.

Edebiri noted that President Buhari’s action would end the grief of those who felt injured by what Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda (retired), did by annulling the election adjudged to be the freest and most credible in the annals of Nigeria’s political history.

Speaking to newsmen at his Benin City residence, Edebiri said the honour for late Abiola was a good decision that came at a good time in Nigeria’s political history.

He said the decision met the yearnings and aspirations of a vast majority of Nigerians, who knew what happened and who appreciated the sacrifices made by Nigerians for the actualisation of June 12 after it was annulled by the Babangida’s regime.

Edebiri, who stated that the PDP refused to honour Abiola or recognised June 12 as Democracy Day because the party was founded by the military, also opined that Abiola was the only person who could have provided a leadership that would have been accepted by the whole country.

“The unfortunate thing about our country is that when we left the military regime, the party that took over power and ruled this country for 16 years was an offshoot of the military. The PDP was formed by the military. Those who retired from the military were the founders of the PDP. How can they come to say they wants to undo what they have done wrong? You cannot expect them to do it because they were part and parcel of what happened to Abiola,” he said.

“I want to further appeal to Buhari to immortalise the name of Tony Enahoro. First as a nationalist who sacrificed his entire life for this country. Enahoro as a young man went to jail several times because of Nigeria. When the question of Abiola came, he was among the vanguard that fought for the restoration of democracy. A man like that should not be forgotten,” he added.