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Pro-June 12 Group Seeks National Dialogue, People’s Constitution

The June 12 Pro-Democracy Movement of Nigeria says President Bola Tinubu must facilitate a process of national dialogue and consultation that will give birth to a democratic people’s constitution.

The convener of the movement, Mr Wale Okunniyi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday ahead of the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the annulled 12th of June, 1993 presidential election.

Okunniyi spoke on how Tinubu could gladden the hearts of June 12 activists under his tenure.

According to him, if the President can show commitment to national dialogue that will lead to true federal constitution in his administration, it will go down in history and become memorable.

Okunniyi said that the President, by so doing, would be actualising the hope late Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the annulled election, stood and died for.

“The critical thing that will make meaning for us with Tinubu’s administration to further entrench June 12 Hope ’93 of MKO Abiola, is for the current President to immediately facilitate a process of national dialogue and consultation that will lead to the birth of constituents assembly that can give us a people’s constitution.

“The only thing, which will make him immortalise the struggle of June 12, MKO Abiola and the National Democratic Coalition, which he (Tinubu) was a member of, is for him to do this.

“The only record that will be memorable with Tinubu’s administration with regard to the June 12 struggle and democracy is to facilitate a process for national discussion and dialogue.

“If the President can do this to give Nigeria a new people’s constitution that is generated from a democratic discussion, that can never forever be erased in history,” Okunniyi said.

According to him, the movement will mobilise June 12 activists and stakeholders for a national discussion on how democracy can work for the people in commemoration of the 31st anniversary .

He said that the present civil rule had only limited features and benefits of democracy in practice.

“For us as leaders of the June 12 pro-democracy movement, it is our duty to organise the Nigerian people to further consolidate the present nascent democracy of Nigeria.

“This is to bring to memory the struggles and what we have done to bring about what we have now as civil rule or democratic governance.

“We are putting these in focus in this year’s June 12, we are refocusing on generating a democratic people’s constitution for Nigeria and securing the destiny and future of Nigeria,” he said.

Okunniyi said that the 2024 anniversary would be chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary General, while the keynote would be given by Dr Kayode Fayemi,a former governor of Ekiti.

“Our message and focus for this year while celebrating the June 12 anniversary is how to generate and actualise a democratic people’s constitution for Nigeria that can be given to Nigerians through an elected constituent assembly.

“What we have today, that is generating crisis in Nigeria, is the Decree 24 of 1999, which is not essentially generated and produced by the Nigerian people,” he said.

He said that Nigerians must stay faithful to the struggle and the cause for a new democratic people’s constitution for the nation to move forward.

According to him, without a democratic constitution, Nigeria cannot say it has democracy, hence the reason democracy is not serving the people at the moment.

“What we have today doesn’t reflect Hope’93. MKO Abiola cannot be happy with what is happening in the nation now as democracy,” he said.

He said that at the death of MKO Abiola, NADECO demanded two things – a government of national unity and a Sovereign National Conference to give birth to a people’s constitution.

He said that a diverse country like Nigeria would not progress without a national dialogue (conference), “where we come to agree to the terms of the existence of where we want to co-habit.”

June 12 is significant in Nigeria’s history as it marks the anniversary of the 1993 presidential election, which was won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola but later annulled by the military government.

Abiola’s victory and the subsequent annulment led to political unrest and eventually the return of democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999.

(NAN)

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