Wale Raji, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member of the house of representatives from Lagos state, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the release of the results of the 1993 presidential election.
Raji also asked the president to urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the election, “president-elect posthumously”.
He made the call in a matter of urgent public importance which he raised during plenary on Thursday.
Abiola emerged winner of the election which took place on June 12 1993 but the military government of Ibrahim Babangida annulled the exercise before the result was announced officially.
The lawmaker said declaring Abiola the president-elect would “resolve all issues relating to the election”.
He also prayed the house to commend Buhari for his decision to declare June 12 new date for celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day, in place of May 29.
Buhari announced the decision on Wednesday during which he also conferred the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late democrat.
“The election was adjudged the freest, fairest and most credible election in Nigeria,” Raji said, adding that releasing the results “would be good for serve as public document.”
Aliu Pategi, also a lawmaker, supported the call for the results of be released.
“It is good for our children to know about the election. We can release the results to become part of public records, and for the purpose of analysis,” he said, but added that “we don’t have to declare the winner. I don’t think that is necessary.”
Chris Azubogu from Anambra state sought an amendment to the motion that Buhari should also be asked to honour Humphrey Nwosu, then INEC chairman that oversaw the election.
“We all witnessed how he remained courageous in performance of his duties during that period. Anyone who stood up to what is right and was courageous enough to uphold the truth should be included as heroes as well,” he said.
The amendment was, however, not adopted in the end.
Most of the other lawmakers who spoke on the motion also kicked against declaring a winner in the election but said the results should be released.
However, due to contradictory views on whether the president’s decision was within the ambit of the law or not, Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house, suspended the motion and referred it to the house committee on rules and businesses to study and report back to the lawmakers.