Enyinnaya Abaribe, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from Abia state, says December 31 should be declared as “democracy destruction day” because that was the day the Muhammadu Buhari military government ousted ex-President Shehu Shagari in a coup.
He said this on Thursday while contributing to a debate on a motion on the post humous award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) conferred on Moshood Abiola, presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.
The motion was sponsored by Lanre Tejuosho, senator representing Ogun central, and backed by Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south.
Ababribe said for the award to be proper, there was a need for the executive to “quickly” send an amendment to the honours act.
“I support what senator Olujimi and also what the deputy senate president had said, insisting that there may have to be an amendment of the constitution,” he said.
“I also want to add that it would also be necessary for the executive to quickly bring to the national assembly, an amendment to the honours act which states that there cannot be posthumous award. Now that they have jumped the gun to do posthumous award, it would be necessary for us to quickly amend that act.
“Finally, I want to also propose another day since we are now moving in the right direction, saying that democracy is needed, I want to propose that we also designate 31st December as democracy destruction day because that was the day that this same president did a coup.”
At that point, the session became rowdy.
On December 31, 1983, Buhari, then general officer commanding, 3rd armored division, Jos, along some other military officers ousted Shagari.