Gowon, Obasanjo and other ex-leaders absent from June 12 celebration

Gowon, Obasanjo and other ex-leaders absent from June 12 celebration

It was meant to be the celebration of a democratic milestone witnessed by people of the home country and leaders of other nations. But yesterday’s Democracy Day left many observers puzzled as none of Nigeria’s former leaders attended.

Although the names of Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and Yakubu Gowon were included in copies of the programme shared to guests at the Eagle Square Abuja venue of the event, nobody caught a glimpse of any of the past leaders.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were however joined on the occasion by top government officials, and foreign leaders: President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Liberia, George Weah; President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso; and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Others included: President of Senegal, Macky Sall; Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda; President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow; President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou; President of Guinea-Bissau, José Mário Gómes Vaz; and President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon.

“With the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, my father’s vision has been fulfilled, even after death,” said Abdulmumini Abiola, son of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was nullified by the Ibrahim Babangida government.

Source: Guardian Newspaper