House Of Reps Approve June 12 As Nigeria’s New Democracy Day
Lawmakers of the House of Representatives on Thursday, December 6, approved June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.
The approval was done today while considering a report on “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Holidays Act, Cap. P40, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to bring the Act in tandem with the current realities and exigencies of the modern times and to declare June, 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria and for Related Matters”.
Considering the report at the plenary, the lawmakers approved the amendments to three clauses in the Act, as recommended in the report.
Before now, May 29 is always observed as Democracy Day since 1999.
But President Muhammadu Buhari, last year declared that June 12 would now be marked as Democracy Day and a day to handover power.
He also honoured the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, with the highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.
The lawmakers saw the need to give the declaration a legal backing, hence the introduction of the bill by Edward Pwajok (Plateau, APC).
The late Abiola won the freest election conducted in Nigeria’s history on June 12, 1993 but the election was annulled by the military junta of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB.
For decades, activists and human rights bodies have been protesting and canvassing the recognition of Abiola by making June 12 Democracy Day instead of the May 29 instituted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.