No fewer than three persons collapsed on Monday during the military parade to mark the 2022 Democracy Day, at Eagle Square in Abuja.
The victims were said to be members of the different units of the military, collapsing to the ground after standing for hours before the commencement of the exercise.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who presided over the parade was well underway when a bit of commotion broke out from behind one of the parties as some security and medical personnel were seen scrambling to get stretchers to move those who had collapsed for urgent medical attention, Tribune reports.
The victims were rushed to the tents provided at the square for medical personnel where physicians successfully resuscitated them.
But it was not clear if they were able to return to continue with their duties.
Four units including the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Police performed the parade with a combat display by the Nigerian Army Female Corps as well as a traditional dance display representing the main ethnic groups in the country.
President Buhari, who was the Special Guest of Honour, carried out an inspection of guards, which was followed by a military/police march past.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was among the dignitaries who witnessed the occasion which is the last Democracy Day parade President Buhari would preside over before his exit in 2023.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, the running mate of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, M.K.O. Abiola, was introduced as a former Vice President.
The Master of Ceremony at the occasion during the photo session invited Kingibe, whom he introduced as former Vice President to be part of a group photograph with President Buhari, Jonathan, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief Justice of the Federation, Ibrahim Tanko, and the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu.
Despite being Abiola’s running mate, Kingibe betrayed the late politician and abandoned the struggle even while he was alive.
Abiola had said he was persuaded by his friends and political supporters to pick him as his running mate because of his political clout in the North and closeness to Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was the Deputy Head of State in the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Unfortunately, as the plot for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate thickened, Kingibe changed camp and ensured that Hope ‘93 was not just deferred but completely dashed.
He served as foreign minister under Sani Abacha, the same dictator who arrested and jailed Abiola with whom he ran on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Abiola would later regret choosing Kingibe over Dan Suleiman, a retired air commodore and former military governor from the then Middle Belt. Abiola referred to Suleiman as a ‘complete gentleman’.
MKO said he did know that his running mate had “extensive connections and relationship” with the security agencies and the military high command. Kingibe contributed to the abortion of the third republic.
He was later honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) solely because of being Abiola’s running mate. An honour many Nigerians have said he does not deserve.
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