A motion to recognize the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, Bashorun MKO Abiola Thursday caused an uproar on the floor of the ongoing national conference, as the delegates were sharply divided along regional affiliations on the issue.
While delegates from the South were unanimous in their support of the motion introduced by Hon Orok Otu Duke under matters of urgent public importance citing Order 7 (5) of the Conference Rules, the delegates from the North, spearheaded by Mallam Naseer Kura representing the Civil Society, opposed the motion and resorted to shouts of no!, no!!, no!!!, a development which triggered a rowdy floor to the consternation of newsmen and others watching proceedings from the gallery.
But for the shrewd handling of the matter by the chairman of conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, the shouting exchange on the floor sequel to the motion moved by Duke would have degenerated into a fisticuff.
Duke’s motion which nearly marred the session Thursday morning, specifically sought the leave of the House to pay tribute to all those who fell for the cause of Nigeria’s democracy spearheaded by MKO Abiola,
That the Conference should cause the authorities to always remember June 12 as a watershed in the history of Nigeria.
That a monument in tandem with what the conference had proposed for other heroes and heroines should be recommended in honour of MKO Abiola.
But these prayers did not go down well with some of the delegates who became enraged, including Umaru Mohammed Hadejia representing Jigawa state among others who strongly opposed the submission and shouted at the top of their voice to register their disapproval.
Unperturbed by the distractions, Hon Duke argued that the country cannot afford to carry on as if June 12 never existed, and further submitted that many Nigerians died on that day.
When decorum was restored by the conference Chairman, Justice Kutigi, a minute silence was observed by the delegates in honour of all the departed on account of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections.