Melaye,Belgore Fault Buhari’s Award On MKO Abiola

MKO Abiola

LAGOS JUNE 8TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West and Alfa Belgore, CJN from 2006-2007has faulted the conferment of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Moshood Abiola, the widely acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election.
Melaye while condemning the award, ha cautioned President Muhammdu Buhari against breaching the constitution in his latest move of conferring the honour.
Mr Buhari on June 6, 25 years after the election, directed the honour be conferred on Mr Abiola. He also said June 12 will henceforth be preserved as Nigeria’s Democracy Day to further honour him.
The president also directed Mr Abiola’s running mate, Babagana Kingibe, be conferred with the second highest honour of Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
The GCFR was exclusive to presidents and former presidents until President Shehu Shagari conferred it on Obafemi Awolowo in the Second Republic.
Citing Chapter 43(2) of the National Honours Act on Thursday, however, Mr Melaye argued that the act does not allow for conferment of the honours on non-Nigerians.
He claimed that Mr Abiola is dead and that automatically makes him not to be a Nigerian.
He said, “I am a democrat, I believe very sincerely that Chief M.K.O Abiola deserve even more than the president has pronounced because he is a true patriot, philanthropist and should be so decorated.
“But Mr. President, we are governed in the country by the constitution and extant laws. No matter how beautiful a situation is, the law of the land remains the law of the land.”
In the same vein, Alfa Belgore, CJN from 2006-2007, insinuated that national honours cannot be awarded posthumously, much less the GCFR, which is the highest honour in the land.
“It is not done,” Mr Belgore told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Wednesday night. “It is for people living.”
“The only thing they could do is to name a place after him, but national honours award, no,” he added.
Mr Belgore, chairman of the 2016 national honours committee, also said he “was not consulted” by the Buhari administration before the decision was taken.
Mr Belgore said under the 1963 National Honours Act, only soldiers or other servicemen could be awarded posthumous medals for their bravery.
The president also declared that Democracy Day would be celebrated on June 12 to further honour the memory of Mr Abiola.
The move has received mixed feelings, with supporters of the government seeing it as a welcomed move while critics dismissed it as a desperate political calculation ahead of 2019 elections in which Mr Buhari has declared he would run for second term.

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Posted by on Jun 8 2018. Filed under National, State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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