Why We Accept Buhari’s Award – Mohammed Fawehinmi 

How do you react to the announcement of the posthumous award for Chief (Fawehinmi) by President Muhammadu Buhari?

We are very very excited! We are very happy. ….. It was what my daddy wanted. Now he is being given an award, which is equivalent of award for Chief Justice of Nigeria and also the Senate president. It’s a thing of joy.

I remember that when the late president Yaradua offered to give him award, he rejected it…?

Cuts in.. Yes, because there was no basis for that. What was the basis for giving him the award? He just said he wanted to give him an award. It’s not an issue of giving him something. There has to be a basis for it. Look at the way this one was done.

So it is because this one is attached to June 12?

Yes. That is what he had always wanted. That was where this democracy started from. 

In one word the family is accepting this on his behalf because it is attached to June 12?

Yes! And also, it is well deserved because chief practically killed himself for this country. And this is demonstrated by his detention in so many places, very dangerous detention centres that IBB, Abacha, and Obasanjo put him in. Because they intended to kill him outright but for the press and God. 

There are insinuations that the president is giving out these awards because he is desperate for next year’s election. How do you react to this?

They that were not desperate what did they do when they were there? Ask them, (particularly these PDP leaders), ask them what did they do? Did PDP recognise June 12, did they recognise Abiola? That is what we have to ask ourselves now. In fact, (former president Olusegun) Obasanjo was jealous of Abiola. … He went to South Africa to say that the best man may not necessarily win an election. Shortly after that, he was invited to be the president. Imagine if he was the one who won that election and he was denied, how will he feel? Now, this (award) is an entitlement to all Nigerians, because Nigerians voted this man (Abiola), they voted a Muslim/Muslim ticket, with Babagana Kingibe, his running mate. All Nigerians agreed to vote. That shows that it is the will of the people. 

There was a call by the Senate, following the announcement by President Buhari, that the results of the June 12, election be announced and made formal. What do you think about this call?

It is good, but the Senate should have done it (long before now). 

So you believe that the timing does not really matter?

There is no bad time for doing something good. 

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