June 12: Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso to Address Democracy Rally

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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 New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso will address Nigerians at a national democracy rally in Lagos.

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

June 12 Democracy Day marks the restoration of democracy in 1999 and commemorates the annulled 1993 presidential election won by Abiola. Previously, the day was celebrated on May 29, except in Lagos and other South West states, which recognized June 12 as Abiola Day.

According to a statement from the planning committee for the 2024 Democracy Day Anniversary, the rally will promote the theme: “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, mentioned that Lagos State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu will address the rally. The event will be chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations and chairman of The Patriots.

Additional speakers include Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, former NBA President; Prof. Attahiru Jega, former INEC Chairman; and Senator Shehu Sani. Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, initially slated to provide the keynote address, will be replaced by former Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi and former Kaduna State Military Governor Col. Umar Dangiwa, who will discuss the anniversary theme.

Other notable contributors invited to discuss the keynote submissions are 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 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.

The president of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, president of TUC, Comrade Festus Osifo, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu, the 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 nominated heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s current democratic rule will be conducted. The celebration will conclude with a motorcade procession from the rally venue in Alausa to the residence of Chief MKO Abiola in Ikeja, Lagos, where prayers, tributes, and the laying of the annual Wreath of Honour will be held.

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