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June 12: Reps to debate motion on Abiola

By Luka Binniyat
The House of Representatives will tomorrow debate on an edgy motion that seeks to declare the winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Chief Moshood Abiola, President, posthumously.

The motion which was stood down at last Thursday’s plenary, also seeks to immortalise him by naming the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after him.

Sponsored by Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon (PDP/Edo) and supported by 36 other representatives from across the six geo-political zones, debate on the motion was abruptly stepped down by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Bayero Nafada, who was presided at last Thursday’s plenary.

The move irked some members from the South-South and South-West who interpreted the action of the Deputy Speaker as that not disposed to the motion.

However, the motion is billed on the Order Paper of tomorrow, with those against and in support of it gearing for a heated debate on the floor of the Green Chamber.

The resolve of the motion seeks to: “revalidate June 12 and Chief Moshood Abiola posthumously as the winner of that election with all rights and privileges of former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Rename Aso Rock Presidential Vila as Chief M.K.O. Abiola Presidential Villa, Abuja” and “immortalise the memory of Chief M.K.O. Abiola having selflessly sacrificed his life for the growth of democracy.”

Part of the motion reads: “on Saturday, June 12, , 1993, a presidential election was held throughout the length and breath of Nigeria by virtue of Decree No. 13 of 1993 Presidential Election Decree 1993 and that the election was conducted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) under the Chairmanship of Prof. Henry Nwosu.

“The election was substantially and wholly in compliance with all the enabling and relevant regulatory laws in place at the time, particularly those regulating the entire transition programme of President Ibrahim Babaginda-led Federal Military Government, to wit:

“The result clearly showed that Chief M.K.O. Abiola of SDP won the Presidential election by scoring 8,341,306 votes representing 58.36 per cent of the total votes cast against the loser, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa of NRC who got 5,952,087 representing 41.64 per cent of the total votes cast.”

The motion also noted that, “the official announcement of the final result by NEC after announcing the result of 14 states was scuttled by IBB on Wednesday, June 23, 1993, by annulling the election and sacking the NEC by virtue of a press statement unsigned and undated issued on a piece of paper that bore no seal of government, distributed by Mr. Nduka Irabor, Press Secretary to the then Vice President Augustine Aikhomu.”
The motion affirmed that “the House of Representatives as the largest assemblage of representatives of Nigerians have the capacity, constitutional right and sensibilities of Nigerians by reversing the annulment, restoring the mandates of Nigerians freely given on that day to their preferred candidates, Chief M.K.O Abiola, so that our sacrifice and the over N50 billion that went into the prosecution of that transition programme is not in vain.”


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