The Yoruba community in Benue, has lauded President Mohammadu Buhari for his recent declaration of June 12 as the Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
Mr Steve Alademehin, the Secretary-General of the association, gave this commendation on Tuesday in an interview in Makurdi. He expressed delight on the posthumous award for the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election in the country.
He described the award not only as a recognition of the Yoruba ethnic nationality alone but for the unity of the entire nation. “I disagree with those who say the award is to get the sympathy of the Yoruba for the general elections.
“It is an award for democracy, Abiola could be a Tiv man, an Igbo man, and he could have been from any part of Nigeria, who got injustice. “But the most significant thing is that the man paid a supreme price for the victory of democracy in Nigeria.
“Gen. Sani Abacha gave him conditions to disown his mandate and go on exile, but Abiola insisted on ensuring the triumph of democracy. “He could not run away and as a General in Yoruba culture, he couldn’t do that, even when he knew death was coming.
“The President Buhari’s June 12 declaration is not an award to the Yoruba people but to democracy”. On the insinuation that the president is looking for sympathy votes in the forthcoming general elections, he said any leader who did well would be voted by the Yoruba.
Also speaking, a Yoruba businessman in Makurdi, Mr Taiwo Agboola, described the award as a welcome development. He called on the Federal Government to support the declaration with the payment of compensation to the Abiola family.