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Published On: Thu, Jun 12th, 2014

June 12: Confab delegates in rowdy session

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By Patrick Andrew

A motion to pay tribute to Nigerians who sacrificed their lives for the actualization of democracy in Nigeria caused uproar at the plenary of the National Conference yesterday.

Relying on Order 7, Rule 5, Orok Duke moved that the conference should pay special tribute to the late Chief Moshood Abiola and many other Nigerians who sacrificed their lives while attempting to actualize the June 12, 1993 election.

However Malam Naseer Kura, representing Civil Society Organizations, opposed the motion by engaging Duke on shouting bout with No, No, and other delegates joined the fray with others opposing and others supporting with Yes, Yes.

It took the Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi long to restore normalcy in the conference. An Afenifere chieftain and a delegate representing Elder Statesmen, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, while supporting Duke thanked for reminding the house on the importance of June 12 election.

Chief Adebanjo maintained that the democracy we are enjoying today was as a result of June 12 elections which made Nigerians to sit up and fight for democracy.

A delegate representing Jigawa State, Alhaji Umaru Mohammed Hadejia who opposed the motion said that, the conference has spent much time and could not continue to waste more time on frivolous issues.

He went on to say that the house should avoid any distraction coming from any delegate and continue with the business of the day which was consideration of the report by the committee on Economy, Trade and Investment.

While supporting the motion, a delegate representing Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Isa Aremu, said that, we should always remember June 12 and the  unclaimed winner of the election, Chief MKO Abiola.

He also lamented that “upon the lessons of June 12 we are still having problem with our electoral system.”

An Ijaw leader and a delegate representing Federal Government, Chief Edwin Clark who supported the move said that the 29th May, Democracy day supposed to be observed on June 12 if not because of vested interests, saying we must respect our heroes.

Justice Kutigi having consulted with other principal officers asked the house to rise and observe one minute silence in the honour of those who lost their lives in the struggle for actualization of June 12 election.

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