As part of the preparations for this year’s June 12 Democracy Day celebration, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi, and former NNPP presidential candidate Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso are set to address Nigerians at a national democracy rally in Lagos,leadership reports.

The event, organized by The Patriots, a prominent group of Nigerian thought leaders, in collaboration with the June 12 Pro Democracy Movement of Nigeria, will advocate for what they call a people’s constitution and pay tribute to the late Chief MKO Abiola and other heroes and heroines of the June 12 democratic struggle.

Democracy Day commemorates the restoration of democracy in 1999, celebrated on June 12, the date in 1993 when Abiola’s presidential electoral victory was controversially annulled. Until 2018, the day was celebrated annually on May 29, while Lagos and other South West states observed Abiola Day on June 12.

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According to the planning committee for the 2024 Democracy Day Anniversary, the event will be a significant national democracy rally for a people’s constitution in Nigeria, themed “Securing the Future of Nigeria through a Democratic People’s Constitution.”

The statement, signed by the chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Prof. Anthony Kila, noted that Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu will address the rally, chaired by former Commonwealth Secretary-General and chairman of The Patriots, Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

Other notable speakers include Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, former NBA President; Prof. Attahiru Jega, former INEC Chairman; and Senator Shehu Sani, who will lead discussions on securing Nigeria’s future through democratic constitutional reform.

Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, initially scheduled to deliver the keynote address, will be replaced by former Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi and former Kaduna State Military Governor and June 12 Activist Col. Umar Dangiwa. They will discuss the theme, “Securing the Future of Nigeria through a Democratic People’s Constitution.”

Leading pro-democracy activists and stakeholders invited to discuss the keynote submissions include Prof. Pat Utomi, Barr. Femi Falana SAN, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Amb. (Hon) Nkoyo Toyo, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, Otunba Dele Momodu, Hajia (Dr.) Bilikisu Magoro, and Ann Kio Briggs.

Special remarks will be provided by notable leaders, including General Alabi Akinriade, General Ike Nwachukwu, Elder Solomon Asemota SAN, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, Obong Victor Attah, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Mr. Donald Duke, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and Prof. Mike Ozekhome SAN.

Additionally, NLC President Comrade Joe Ajaero, TUC President Comrade Festus Osifo, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu, National Youth Leader of the 3rd Force Abayomi Rotimi Mighty, Obongawan Barbara Etim-James, Deacon Chris Iyovwaye, and Veteran Olawale Okunniyi (Veteran Che), general secretary of The Patriots, will also participate.

A roll call of honors for the heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s current democratic era will be conducted by the event conveners.

Finally, this year’s celebration, as planned by the LOC, will conclude with a colorful motorcade procession from the rally venue in Alausa to the residence of Chief MKO Abiola in Ikeja, Lagos. Here, prayers, tributes, and the laying of an annual wreath in memory of democracy’s heroes and heroines will be conducted jointly with the Abiola family.


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