Nigerians to Buhari on Abiola, you did well, but you are an hypocrite, we will vote you out in 2019
“We applaud Pres. Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy day but isn’t it hypocritical because Abiola was unfairly treated and poisoned under Abacha regime, a regime Buhari was part of. If he truly respects the values Abiola stood for, why haven’t I come across any article of him criticizing Abiola’s denied presidency and imprisonment from 1993 to 1998. No he was quiet and enjoyed the benefit of running the PTF at the expense of Abiola who rot in prison. Only blind Nigerian will see this as genuine.”—David Ewetan
On Wednesday evening, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the cancellation of May 29 as the country’s annual Democracy Day, replacing it with June 12.
His argument is that June 12 1993 — the date of the election popularly adjudged to be the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history — “was far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29 or even October 1”.
Similarly, he announced that MKO Abiola, winner of the annulled election, will be posthumously awarded the highest honour in the land, GCFR, as part of the next Democracy Day celebration next Tuesday, while his running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON.
The President also said that “the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualization of the June 12th elections and indeed for democracy in general”, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, is to be awarded posthumously a GCON.
As typical of Nigerians, the social media is agog with reactions ranging from witty to punchy, including a few suggesting that although the move was motivated by the 2019 election, Buhari would be voted out nonetheless.
A selection of them is presented below, unedited:
“Political undertone, overtone, middletone, that’s your business really.” —Rinsola Abiola
“So how does this actually help the country?” — Lois Uloko
“Desperate ways to assuage the west and trying to curry the favor of pro Gani activist, but it’s won’t work Baba Nigerians are tired go home VOTE#Dankwambo2019.” — Titilayo Adebayo
“If you like try and use this to bribe us, when it is time we will vote you out.” — Nwani Ebube
“General Buhari, you are truly God sent. No amount of hatred can’t stop your destiny to rule over Nigeria until 2023.” — Black Dove
“Nice initiative from the president, but that won’t stop us from voting you out come 2019, so you can celebrate it in Daura with your lovely wife and family Insha Allah.” — Faruk Sadiq
“Finish all your propaganda but we will use our PVC and vote you out …yes.” — Halima Muhammed
“If you like declare the whole month of June as public holiday, it would not stop me from voting you out of the presidency come 2019 so stop your game.” — Alheri
“Buhari it’s too late. Stop attempting to play on our intelligence and emotions. As election season nears, it’s now you remember to give Abiola a deserved reward on paper. It won’t buy you a southwest vote, ok.” — KennBest
“Good political move to appease the SW as the election draws closer…will they take the bait? we shall see, abeg make I go refill my popcorn, it’s getting too scarce now since the showdown between Nass and the executive branch lol.” — Tony Z
“At least now we can see one thing that he started and finished.” — Chris Nehikhara
“Doesn’t make him any better… he truncated a democratically elected government. Coup plotter.” — Felix Tantari
“Thanks but no way back 2019.. take it back by force” — @emman_idowu
“Election gimmicks to woo the Yoruba. I think PMB has realised that he has crossed the red line, and he is likely to lose next election.” — @LadokeD
“The old man is hungry for power, hope we will not wake up and hear Buhari declaring Dec 25th another democracy day.” — @EngrBarth_Sam
“This is will not translate to winning the heart of SW.” — @nzerichltd
“He can give his wife to be married to the Abiola family for all we care but Buhari must handover may 29th 2019” — Ogbeide Ifaluyi-isibor
“Let us give honour to who and what is due. Buhari is about to do the right thing.” —@Olukolade3
“One week you praise Abiola jailer, Abacus, next week you show your hypocrisy by remembering him .” — Reno Omokri
“Buhari has also been a dictator, nothing has changed.” — Lakreem Allstar
“Great, but this antic will not fry boli.” — @AladeokinBunmi
“If you like, declare December 25th as Christmas Day, you’ll still lose next year’s election.” — @Raw_Diplomat
“Buhari has done the right thing.” — @JuliusShoga