The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it fully supported any honour done by Nigeria to the memory of acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola.
The party said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The party, however, said it rejected the inclination by President Muhammadu Buhari to use the award to posture as a democrat and desperately seeking to garner votes ahead of 2019 presidential election.
It noted that bestowing a posthumous national award on Abiola did not make Buhari a democrat.
“Chief Abiola, in his life time, stood for personal liberty of citizens, particularly the right to aspire for any position, respect for constitutional order and principle of separation of powers.
“He also stood for national cohesion as well as a free press, all of which were upheld by the PDP.”
The party said that it was, however, a fact that the freedoms were being trampled and strangulated.
“While the PDP congratulates the family of late Chief Abiola and other martyrs of democracy, we also remember the roles of late Sen. Abraham Adesanya, Bagauda Khalto, Dan Suleiman, Raph Obiorah, Alex Ibru and others.
“We remember the Management and Staff of the Concord, Guardian, Vanguard, Punch and other media houses, who suffered undue hardships for our nation to attain this democracy.”
It urged the Presidency to save the nation international opprobrium of attempting to use the event for “political capital’’ and to posture Buhari as a democrat.
Also in a separate statement, the PDP commended the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly for their resilience in enhancing the country’s democratic practice as consolidated by successive PDP administrations.
It commended the legislature for the successful amendment of the country’s Constitution.
It advised the Presidency not to appropriate the achievements of the National Assembly as those of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party decried the recent attempt by the Presidency to ascribe credit to President for the recent amendments to the Constitution, particularly the granting of financial autonomy to state house of assembly and the judiciary.
According to it, neither the Presidency nor the President himself made any input in support of the amendments.
“It is instructive to note that none of the amendments stem from any Executive bill. (NAN)