Buhari Confers National Honours on Ayu, Ebute, Anekwe

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President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja approved the conferment of national honours on three distinguished Nigerians, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Senator Ameh Ebute and Chief Agunwa Anekwe.

The recognition of the trio was based on their immense contributions to the enthronement of democratic governance in the country.

While Anekwe was Speaker, House of Representatives in the Third Republic; Ayu and Ebute were Third Republic Senate Presidents.

The Third Republic was truncated by the military following the annulment the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was the last of the series of elections in the political transition programme -midwifed by the military – that would have installed a democratic government.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who announced this in his opening address at the conferment of national honours on the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO. Abiola; his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; human rights and pro-democracy activitst, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, said their investiture will take place at a later date.

Mustapha said, ”These awards serve as a public acknowledgement of their pivotal contribution to nationhood and a further demonstration of this administration’s commitment to upholding the ethos of democratic governance.”

On the significance of the Federal Government’s proclamation of June 12 as “Democracy Day”, the SGF noted that it was in recognition of the public acknowledgement of ”our heroes past whose supreme efforts laid the foundation for our nascent democracy. ”

”Today marks a new dawn in the nation’s political and democratic advancement signalling the deepening of our belief in the democratic principles of inclusiveness in governance and hope for a greater Nigeria.

”The monumental election that took place on June 12, 1993 represented the first time in the history of our nation that Nigerians voted not for tribe or creed or region but for their convictions, affirming their common heritage and unity of purpose,” he said.

The SGF also added: ”June 12, more than any other day, symbolised the varied struggles and sacrifices made by fellow citizens of this great nation, established democracy as our political system of governance, and opened a new chapter in the political history.

”It is in commemoration of this day, the spirit of which should be internalised in the consciousness of Nigerians of all ages and taught to our children and generations of Nigerians yet unborn, that this administration has, in placing history in the right perspective, declared June 12 of every year as Democracy Day and as a national holiday”.