June 12: ‘Don’t declare MKO Abiola President’ – Bode George warns Buhari

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Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised those calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare the late Chief MKO Abiola as a President posthumously.

According to him, the move may result in a constitutional crisis.

Despite giving the late Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election the highest title in the country, Grand Commander of Federal Republic (GCFR), and declaring June 12 as replacement for May 29 as Democracy day, there has been sustained call on President Buhari to declare Abiola as president.

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Reacting, George urged those making the calls not to plunge the nation into crisis, saying President Buhari had done enough by immortalising the late Abiola.

He told Daily Independent yesterday: “Why are people talking like this? Is President Buhari the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)? So, President Buhari will now declare Abiola as a former President of Nigeria because he is President? We are throwing so many things into this issue.

“There are many bigger problems in this country. We are going to use that as a red letter day. Have we learnt any lessons from the fall-out of June 12? Those are things we should celebrate. What has happened has happened, can we reverse anything by saying they should declare Abiola as a former president?

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“By doing so, you will be laying a precedent that is illegal. For me, we should work to avoid the pitfalls of June 12. I am also glad that the Federal Government has declared June 12 as Democracy day and also announced the date as a public holiday”.

“It is like Martin Luther King day. By saying the federal government should declare Abiola as president; can it bring back those who lost their lives during the democratic struggle? The most important thing like I said is what lessons we have learnt so that the younger generations won’t fall into that abyss?

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“If President Buhari should listen to this demand by declaring Abiola as president, we may be heading for a constitutional crisis because some people will come out and say it is an illegal thing.”

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