House of Representatives

The House of Representatives on Thursday was in rowdy session over President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day.

Recall that the President had made the declaration in a statement on Wednesday that June 12 would replace May 29 as Democracy Day because it was a more symbolic day.

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The announcement was to honour of late MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, whom the President also conferred a posthumous GCFR title on.

Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, however, tried to keep the angry members under control as the debate on the new Democracy Day continued.

Lawmakers at the green chamber, however, questioned the legality of the Executive to make a pronouncement that goes against the Public Holiday Act, which gives power to parliament to prescribe public holidays.

The lawmakers further asked the President to honour the then Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Humphrey Nwosu, who conducted the election which many believe is the freest in the nation’s history.

Speaker Dogara consequently froze the debate and referred the matter to the House Committee on Justice, Rules and Business.

He directed them to review the matter and report to the House with an advice on the implications of President Buhari’s pronouncement to the Public Holiday Act.