National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, told President Muhammadu Buhari that he deserves to win re-election in 2019 because he has brought back hope to Nigerians.
The former Lagos state governor said this at the investiture ceremony where the President conferred the post-humous award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late Chief MKO Abiola.
Abiola was the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election in what is described as Nigeria's freest and fairest election. After then-military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the election, Abiola refused to concede his mandate and was imprisoned in 1994 by General Sani Abacha who had taken over government. Abiola died in custody under suspicious circumstances on July 7, 1998, a month after Abacha himself died mysteriously.
During the investiture ceremony at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, Tinubu said Buhari has been resolute in putting Nigeria back on the road self-discovery, giving hope to a lot of Nigerians with his adherence to democratic principles.
He promised the president that he'll work for his re-election in next year's election because he deserves it.
He said, "Mr President, we've formed a partnership on very strong democratic principles and you're living up to it. You made a promise that you'll be committed to transparency and rule of law and bring about compliance with constitutional democracy, you've done it now.
"Yes, the authors, writers and columnists will come up with all sorts of analysis for why you did it; yes, you did it.
"You remained resolute to put Nigeria back on self-discovery, great determination and fidelity with democratic principles. Thank you Mr President.
"The spirit of the man you honoured today principally, the creed of the campaign was hope; thank you for bringing hope back to Nigerians.
"You're investing in education which is the greatest weapon against poverty. You're feeding our children. We're no longer paying for darkness and we're able to feed ourselves.
"Thank you Mr President, we're with you. It's not the question of second term, you deserve it. We're going to work for it. We're going to win with you."
Buhari apologises to MKO Abiola's family for his death
While the president was speaking on Tuesday, he apologised to the family of the late Abiola, on behalf of the federal government, for his death in the struggle to hold on to his mandate.
Buhari said, "On behalf of the federal government, I tender the nation's apology to the family of late MKO Abiola who got the highest votes and to those that lost their loved ones in the course of June 12 struggle."
The president asked everyone in the Conference Hall to stand for a one-minute silence in honour of MKO Abiola and all those who lost their lives in the aftermaths of the annulled election.