PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of plagiarism on the recent declaration of June 12 as the new democracy day in Nigeria.
Making the allegation on Thursday, the Action Peoples Party (APP) accused Mr Buhari of hijacking its idea on the topic matter.
President Buhari had on Wednesday announced that June 12 will now be celebrated in the country as Democracy Day in honour of Moshood Abiola, who won the annulled presidential election of June 12, 1993.
Mr Abiola, who died in July 1998, will also be conferred with the nation’s highest honour, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), along side his running mate in that election, Babagana Kingibe, who will be conferred with the second highest honour of Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON).
Mr Abiola was arrested in 1994 in the course of the struggle to claim his mandate and later died in custody in July 1998.
The APP in a statement by its National Chairman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said the president’s action is a desperate move to woo the South-west and pro-democracy votes. This was the same position the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adopted while reacting to the declaration.
“APP is shocked to see that the President Buhari-led federal government has now graduated to hijacking ideas of true democrats without giving due credit in a desperate bid to secure lost South West and pro-democracy block votes.
“Few months ago, we launched our party’s healing and national reconciliation agenda, which includes the ceremonial declaration of M.K.O Abiola the winner of the June 12 election and also the enactment of a legislation called the June 12 Act which will declare June 12 of every year as our National democracy day.
“We presented the draft bill to the public on live television to express our readiness to heal the wounds of the past and honour our fallen democratic hero.
“APP is in awe that a president who has not done a single creative thing since his election in 2015 would in his desperation to woo South West and pro-democracy votes attempt to hijack a well-thought out initiative of the APP without giving credit to the initiators of the idea.
“To see Buhari pretend to be on the side of June 12 because of his desperation to garner lost goodwill from South West and pro-democracy block is a joke taken too far when the same president few weeks ago was seen praising the former dictator Abacha whose regime denied Nigeria the chance to have an Abiola presidency,” the APP said.
The party therefore declared it will be taking legal action within 48 hours if the president does not give them credit for their newly launched political manifesto and agenda.