President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed a renaming of the Abuja National Stadium after the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, Chief M.K.O Abiola for his sacrifice and contributions to the actualisation of democracy in the country.
Buhari disclosed this in his speech to Nigerians during the maiden celebration of the country’s Democracy day on June 12. The proposal elicited a loud ovation at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the ceremony.
“As we all know, correcting injustice is a pre-requisite for peace and unity. As part of the process of healing and reconciliation, I approved the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and invested the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe with National Honours, as I did with the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. The purpose was to partially atone for the previous damage done in annulling the Presidential elections of that year.”
“Today, I propose the re-naming of the Abuja National Stadium. Henceforth it will be called MOSHOOD ABIOLA NATIONAL STADIUM,” he said.
The statement by the President will however have to be ratified by the National Assembly, the arm of government saddled with the responsibility of transmuting the decision into law.
President Buhari had on the evening of June 6, 2018, issued an executive order recognising June 12 as the new Democracy Day, and on June, 12, 2018 honoured the hero of the June 12, 1993 struggle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola alongside his running mate, Babagana Kingibe with the award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) respectively.
Following the development, the President on Monday signed into law the Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill, making June 12 a public holiday in the country, which on May 16 approved in the Senate by an act of parliament after lawmakers considered the bill seeking to amend the Public Holiday Act to make June 12 the country’s official Democracy Day and reserving May 29 as the handover/inauguration day of new governments in the country.