PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has announced June 12 as the new date which Democracy Day will be celebrated in Nigeria.
He also conferred a posthumous GCFR title on the late Chief Moshood Abiola.
Buhari explained that June 12 will replace May 29, adding that June 12 is a more symbolic day for Democracy Day.
He said after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day.
Dear Nigerians, I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Govt has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day.
We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola. pic.twitter.com/VyYftmvWKA
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) June 6, 2018
“For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29th, as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government. The first time this happened was on October 21st, 1979. But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st,” a statement by the presidency said Wednesday.
“June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.
“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 cancelled elections. His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualization of the June 12th elections and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN is to be awarded the GCON.
“The investiture will take place on Tuesday June 12th, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29th as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.”
The 1993 Presidential Election data showed Abiola won the polls but the military government of Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election.
Sani Abacha who later took over the government imprisoned Abiola who died in prison in 1998.
Buhari served under the Abacha regime which he had consistently defended despite the fact that Abacha stole billions of dollars from public fund.