Rowdy session in Reps over Buhari’s June 12 declaration
The House of Representatives was on Thursday thrown into a rowdy session when some lawmakers kicked against the honour given former presidential candidate, Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Wednesday, Mr Buhari announced the conferment of the highest honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Mr Abiola as a sign of honour. He also declared June 12, the day of the 1993 election, as new date for celebration of Democracy Day in Nigeria. Mr Abiola died in prison in 1998, where he was kept by the then military government since 1994. His then running mate, Babagana Kingibe, is also to get the second highest national honour, GCON, the president said.
In a move that sparked up the controversy, Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) said Mr Buhari’s decision to announce the new public holiday on Wednesday rather than on May 29 was “with bad intent.”
He said only the National Assembly is empowered to set new dates for public holidays.
“Public holiday is derived from the National Assembly act and not from executive declaration,” the lawmaker said.
“This honour is to be given to the president or former presidents who are still alive.
“Two weeks ago, we celebrated our great feat as a nation our Democracy Day. The executive never thought it wise to declare it on that day. What is the difference between now and one week ago, it is an act of discrimination.
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