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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday announced that Chief MKO Abiola has been posthumously awarded the highest national honour (GCFR), and late human rights lawyer and activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, conferred with a GCON. President Buhari also announced that June 12th will, from 2019, be Nigeria’s official Democracy Day. Let’s not ask why we cannot begin these celebrations in 2018; it doesn’t matter if we’ve already celebrated Democracy Day on May 29th – enjoyment is never enough.

Here are five reasons why a June 12 Democracy Day is important now

Because elections are important and this decision could have been taken in 2015 or 2016 or 2017, but 2018 is the year. Strategic stuff. Because let the people see that you are actually doing something to make the country better. You care. You pay attention. Because now that you are visiting from the UK, you best get to working. Because Pa Fawehinmi would have rejected national honours dipped in the blood of innocent Nigerians while he was alive, so why not sneak one in when he is dead and can’t reject awards? Simply genius. And again, don’t forget, it is very important to know How To Win Elections In Africa.

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This article was first published on 7th June 2018 and updated on February 11th, 2019 at 1:28 pm


Ibiene loves poetry and good books. She is the author of a collection of poems and short stories, 'Loving Gladys' (2020).

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