Buhari Makes Deft Political Moves

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  • President Muhammadu Buhari in a seeming move to re-endear himself to the south west in particular and pro-democracy groups has changed the sequence of celebrating Nigeria’s democracy by declaring June 12 as the country’s new democracy day.
  • This is even as he has conferred the highest title of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic. GCFR,  on the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12 elections, the  late Chief Moshood Abiola.
  • In a press release personally signed by the President, Buhari also announced the conferment of the title of Grand Commander if the Order of the Niger, GCON, on the equally late Chief Gani Fawehmi and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Abiola’s running mate.
  • The conferments by President Buhari may tend to reorder the sequence of national celebrations, as May 29, which had hitherto been regarded and celebrated as democracy day will henceforth be relegated to the background.
  • Analysts believe that President Buhari’s action was intended to rekindle the old antagonisms against former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, who annulled the elections.
  • Babangida, along with other past leaders have been opposed to President Muhammad Buhari’s re-ekection bid, a move that has further polarized the two leaders.
  • The move may also up the ante of the Presidents political profile in the south west in particular.