Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says those who lost out under President Muhammadu Buhari are trying to blackmail him.
Shehu said this in a piece he wrote on Sunday.
He said the conferment of GCFR on MKO Abiola, presumed winner of June 12 election, brought the anger of many upon Buhari.
On Wednesday, Buhari announced his decision to confer on Abiola, the highest honour in the land.
He also declared June 12 the new democracy day.
The move has been received with different reactions.
Commenting on the gesture, Shehu, in the article titled ‘June 12 Tsunami and the ones who won’t forgive Buhari’, said questions have risen about the aftermath of the conferment.
“In trying to explain the gush of criticism and increasing resort to blackmail by those who have lost out under this honest man of humble origins, and frank dispositions, who has succeeded so far in running a clean government, it is important to note that these are qualities that only a few Nigerian politicians possess,” he wrote.
He said since Abiola’s death in July 1998, no government has asked certain questions about the incident.
“If you read the history of our country, hardly do we have the top elite joining hands for the good of the nation. Buhari’s tsunami on June 12 has stoked the anger and the fear of this group,” Shehu said.
“If you are counting the large number of Nigerians united by that annulment, and who must now be very, very angry with President Buhari for righting that wrong which nourished them, one must not leave out the men and women in the temple of justice who used one subterfuge or the other to keep June 12 buried and its biggest symbol, MKO Abiola in detention until his end came (or was induced).
“Naturally, there is also the fear of the unknown. What will come after this? Remember that since the incident took place, no past administration in 25 years has asked the question, why was the election annulled? Who annulled it? What were the consequences? Beyond Abiola and his late wife Kudirat, how many people did the nation lose? In terms of the economy, how much was lost? How much of a dislocation was it, socially, politically and internationally? Overall, how much damage did it cause the nation?”
He, however, said he is not aware if Buhari will probe the incidents.
He added that there was no need for Nigerians to be scared, except those “guilty of wrongdoing”.
“Now would there be an inquisition into all of the things that happened? I have not been briefed if there is going to be any. Neither have I heard of any discussions on this. I cannot, therefore, speculate,” he said.
“Should anyone be afraid? Our very erudite and sharp minister, Lai Mohammed said no Nigerian should fear for their rights under President Buhari, unless they are guilty of wrongdoing. I haven’t still mastered the art of predicting army Generals, not even this one. On this question, only the President can say yes or no if there will be a probe as many have begun clamouring for.
“In normal times, even before the shocking master stroke honouring Abiola, President Buhari is a leader who had not been in the good reckoning of a powerful, very vocal section of the country’s elite. The reason is basically that they would lose when you put in place corruption-free governance, institute economic growth with special focus on farmers, and a strong drive for inclusiveness particularly regarding women and marginalised sections.”