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June 12 detractors back, says Falana

Published by The Nation on Thu, 12 Feb 2015

Constitutional lawyer and rights activist Femi Falana has urged Nigerians to be vigilant because those who plotted the June 12, 1993 debacle are scheming to derail the present democracy.Falana, who spoke at the commemoration of the 2015 Black History Month and Beko Ransome Kuti Memorial, at Right House, Ikeja, said Nigeria was at a crossroads.The lecture: Non-violent Democratic Change, was organised by the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).He said: The Senate President, David Mark, said last September that election is not our agenda now, we are fighting a war.The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, has had his way on the postponement of the elections. When he was the aide-de-camp to General Ibrahim Babangida, he and David Mark were among the colonels who said over their dead bodies would Babangida hand over to Chief MKO Abiola.Those who plotted the June 12 annulment are back, but are we going to allow them' If no, that is what the ballot demands from us. While we want to change peacefully, we have no apology to say that those who make peaceful change impossible make a violent one inevitable.Falana said Nigerians were languishing in poverty, but the Federal Government was depriving them of the opportunity to make a choice.We are insisting that this election must hold and whoever wins must be allowed to govern the country.I am challenging Chief Edwin Clark and others. We never saw them when we marched on the streets of Lagos and Abuja to proclaim Goodluck Jonathan as acting President. When we were on the streets of Lagos, where were they'Quote me, in fact Baba Clark called me during one of our protests and said Femi my son, keep it up. We, of the Niger Delta cannot join this struggle now. I said why sir, why' He said because Jonathan is our son. I said what has your son got to do with this' It was Prof. Wole Soyinka at 71 then who led us in the protest.The lawyer said the service chiefs have committed mutiny, stressing that this was the same offence for which some soldiers were charged.He urged Nigerians to resist the attempt to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, to proceed on terminal leave, stressing that it was unconstitutional.The United States Consul General Jeffrey Hawkins reiterated the need to abide by the peace accord signed by the leaders of the parties.As President Jonathan said in his New Years message, no ones political ambition is worth the blood of any of your countrymen, women and children.General Muhammadu Buhari recently tweeted, electoral violence is unacceptable and every Nigerians life is sacred. Both presidential candidates have also signed the Abuja Accord, which commits them to running exclusively issue based campaigns, he said.The host, former National President CDHR Olasupo Ojo said the mobilisation to save Nigerians had begun.Nigeria belongs to all of us and we have the right to use the ballot they way we want it. It our right to exercise it, it is our property and nobody can take it away from us.The post June 12 detractors back, says Falana appeared first on The Nation.]]>
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