The man who umpired the historic June 12 election as Chairman of the defunct National Electoral Commission, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, has said that he will not be able to attend the posthumous investiture of the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, as the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic scheduled on Tuesday (today).
Nwosu disclosed this in a June 10 dated letter he sent to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, copies of which were made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday by the SGF’s spokesman, Lawrence Ojabo.
The former NEC boss stated that he would not be able to attend because he was outside the country.
He however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for recognising June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day and for honouring Abiola, adding that the honour would rekindle the national consciousness of all Nigerians for a better nation.
The Federal Government had invited Prof. Nwosu to the event in which the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, will also be honoured posthumously with the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger alongside Abiola’s running mate, Babagana Kingibe.
Many political commentators had criticised the Buhari government for excluding Nwosu from the list of people to be honoured after the role he played in ensuring what has been adjudged freest election in the history of Nigeria.
It is still unclear if this has anything to do with Prof. Nwosu’s decision to stay away from today’s event.
In any case, his letter to the SGF read, “I thank His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria for recognising June 12 as Democracy Day and also honouring the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola.
“Indeed, June 12, 1993 marked a turning point in Nigeria’s tortuous journey towards a democratic polity. It is an honour to the very hard-working men and women of the defunct National Electoral Commission under my leadership at this long awaited recognition. I humbly commend this action by the President.
“Undoubtedly, the democratic system of governance is the best especially for a multi-ethnic nation like ours. I thank you for building on the foundation which my team and I laboured strenuously to establish and actualise on June 12, 1993.
“It is our hope that expanding the frontiers of democracy of which all the people of Nigeria, regardless of ethnic group, will provide economic, social and developmental benefits that will certainly make Nigeria a great nation not only in Africa but across the world.
“Certainly, the scheduled event on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 will rekindle the national consciousness of all Nigerians for a better nation.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I will not be present at the investiture ceremony as I am outside the country. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!”