* Wants FG to pay all entitlements of Abiola, Kingibe
By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate Thursday mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce the final results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election so that it can be on record that MKO Abiola won the poll.
INEC is an offshoot of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), which was chaired in 1993 by Professor Humphrey Nwosu and conducted the presidential election held on Saturday, June 12, 1993 between the Social Democratic Party candidate, MKO Abiola, and the National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Ibrahim Tofa.
The election adjudged globally as a free and fair election was believed to have been won by Abiola.
In a four-point resolution reached after a lengthy debate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wednesday declaration of June 12 as the new Democracy Day, the Senate said with the recognition of MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe as former President and ex-Vice President by the federal government “all their entitlements should be paid forthwith”.
It also implored the federal government to not only recognise Kingibe as former vice-president but to declare June 12 as a public holiday.
The Senate, however, said that May 29, 2019 remains the inauguration date of a new government in the country.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki, who read the resolutions of the Senate in his earlier contribution, said the recognition of the place of Abiola in the nation’s history by Buhari was long overdue.
According to him, the country has not given Abiola the recognition he rightly deserved since the last 25 years “but this should not douse our thoughts of the good intention of the latest move of government”.
Senator Lanre Tejuosho (Ogun Central), who opened discussions on the June 12 issue came under Order 43 to say that Buhari’s proclamation of June 12 as Democracy Day “signals the beginning of reconciliation between the government and the people and by extension between executive and the legislature”.
Contributing, Senator Biodun Olujinmi (Ekiti South), while supporting the position of Tejuosho, however suggested that INEC must be made to announce the June 12 election result and declare Abiola as winner.
She said once that is done “there should be reparation and what Abiola is entitled to as president should be given to his family while Kingibe should be recognised as former vice-president”.
On his part, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan said President Buhari meant well by his action on June 12, adding that the date is significant in the history of the politics of Nigeria.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, supported the declaration of the June 12, 1993 election result “so as to be on record that MKO Abiola won at the poll”.
He however advised the government to address other injustices like the environmental degradation and incessant killings across the country.
He quoted section 135(2b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) to justify the inauguration of a new government in the country, saying May 29 remains the inauguration date.
Also contributing, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) said Abiola deserves more honour but emphasised that “whatever government wants to do must be done in accordance with the law as Nigeria is governed by the constitution and extant rules”.