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Why Tinubu didn’t deliver state of the nation address at n’assembly- Speaker



Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house of representatives, has explained why President Bola Tinubu did not deliver a “state of the nation” address at the joint sitting of the national assembly.

 

Speaking on Wednesday before Tinubu entered the green chamber, Abbas said all activities and speeches to mark Democracy Day would take place on June 12.

 

BACKGROUND

The national assembly had said Tinubu would deliver an address on the “state of the nation” at the joint sitting of the senate and house of representatives.

 

The national assembly also said Femi Gbajabiamila, who served as speaker of the 9th house from 2019 to 2023, would deliver a paper on ‘Reflections on the house’; while David Mark, president of the 6th and 7th senate from 2007 to 2015, would speak on ‘Reflections on the senate’.

 

Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state, was also expected to deliver a paper on ‘Reflections on the Journey to democracy’.

 

Bayo Onanuga, the presidential special adviser on information and strategy, also corroborated the national assembly statement, noting that Tinubu’s address at the parliament is part of the activities to mark his one year in office.


However, in a separate statement, Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, said Tinubu would not address the national assembly.

 

“In view of public commentary concerning the President delivering a speech before a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly tomorrow, May 29, 2024, it is important to state that this information is false and unauthorized as the Office of the President was not involved in the planning of the event,” Ajuri said.

 

‘WE ERRED’

Abbas said the national assembly erred by inviting Tinubu to address a joint session on May 29.


“Mr president has other commitments after the national assembly engagement. He is supposed to be at the commissioning of the light rail station somewhere in town,” Abbas said.

 

“His presence here today will be lately to symbolise the commencement of the use of the of the national anthem.

 

“He might not be able to give any speech. All the speeches coming from us too are not going to take place. June 12 is supposed to be the real Democracy Day, not May 29.

 

“It was an error from us. Mr president has acknowledged our shortcomings in that regard and advised that whatever ceremony we have, whatever speech we have should be reserved for June 12.

 

 “That will be the day that we will all convene to actually celebrate democracy. Distinguish senators and honourable members; forgive us for this lapse.”

 

Former President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 as Democracy Day in 2018.

 

Before 2018, the nation’s Democracy Day was celebrated on May 29, to mark the day Nigeria transitioned to civilian rule in 1999.

 

Buhari changed Democracy Day to June 12 to honour the significance of the 1993 election.

 

Moshood Abiola, a businessman, was announced as the winner of the presidential election in 1993 but was annulled by the then-military government led by Ibrahim Babangida.

 

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