Senator Dino Melaye, has stated that the process with which Abiola was honoured was flawed even though Buhari’s intention was laudable. According to him, the law demands that such award must be conferred on the recipient “in person.”
Citing Chapter 43(2) of the National Honours Act, he said, “I am a democrat. I believe very sincerely that Chief MKO Abiola deserves even more than the President has pronounced because he was a true patriot, philanthropist and should be so decorated. But, we are governed in the country by the constitution and extant laws. No matter how beautiful a situation is, the law of the land remains the law of the land.
“We should not be emotional about this. The law remains the law. They said ‘in person.’ For us to do what we are supposed to do, we would have to amend the provisions of this Act because anything we need to do, we have to do it in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
“We must not be seen to be taking decisions that will be called to question later. The Public Holidays Act, in the 5th Schedule, lists May 29th as Democracy Day.
“We have to look at this vis-a-vis Section II of the Presidential Proclamation to be properly guided in passing a resolution on this matter.”
Also Mr. Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta State), has said Buhari’s action was political and smacked of “desperation.”
He noted, “Only on May 29th, we celebrated Democracy Day. Why are we in a hurry to mark June 12 as another democracy day? This administration is desperate and it shows in all of its actions.”