Senate wants Abiola recognised as former president, official announcement of June 12 election result
– The Senators want Moshood Abiola to be recognized as a former president of Nigeria
– The lawmakers also want an official announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 election
– According to the lawmakers, May 29 will continue to be the hand-over date for presidents of Nigeria
The Nigerian Senate has resolved to call for the official result of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which produced late Moshoo Abiola as president.
The Senate during the plenary on Tuesday, June 7, while supporting the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari on marking Nigeria’s democracy on June 12, said such move will further entrench democracy.
The lawmakers however insisted that May 29 will continue to be the hand-over date for presidents of Nigeria.
Premium Times Reports that the Senators also agreed that any alteration on the handover date will require a constitutional amendment.
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Speaking on the matter, Lanre Tejuosho (Ogun-APC), commended the president for the honour bestowed on Abiola and his running mate, Babagana Kingibe.
Tejuosho also urged the president to reconcile with the Legislature.
Citing order 42 and 52, Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti-PDP), re-opened the issue to allow contributions.
She said it is important that the president legalises his gesture to the awardees.
“For once, I want to thank the President of Nigeria. I want to say he has done well. This is one time that the President has given a thought to what (Moshood) Abiola and his family went through to fight for this democracy that we enjoy today.
“Going further, there are issues to be addressed so that we can be confident that this is not a Greek gift,” Olujimi said.
Also speaking Ahmed Lawan called on the lawmakers to continue ‘to support the government to further entrench democracy.’
In his reaction, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the declaration comes with legal issues which the president must address.
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“They are now saying June 12 is now Democracy Day, proposing that in 2019, the president will now be sworn in on the 12th of June. This is legally impossible.
A president shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of four years he took the oath of office.
The implication is that 29th of May remains the date the president will be inaugurated and take oath of office. If they are moving from May 29 to June 12, it means we have to amend this constitution.
“Otherwise, we will be extending tenure of a president beyond what the constitution contemplates. We have to advise the president properly so that we won’t enter a jam next year. We cannot extend it to June 12 without extending the Constitution,” Ekweremadu said.
Also, the Senator representing Abia south senatorial district, Enyinnaya Abaribe, called on the president to declare December 31 as Democracy Destruction Day.
The Senator said such declaration will mark a coup allegedly championed by the president to end the tenure of a democratically elected government in 1983.
“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,” Abaribe said.
The statement by Abaribe did not go down well with lawmakers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress as he was shouted down on the floor of the chmaber.