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May 29 inauguration will be low key – Lai Mohammed

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THE Inauguration for President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term on May 29, 2019, will be a low-key event, said Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture.

Addressing State House correspondents on Monday, Mohammed said a more elaborate event would be held on June 12 which is the new date for Nigeria’s Democracy Day as announced by Buhari in 2018.

He explained that it was not financially advisable for the country to hold two major celebrations within a two-week interval.

According to Mohammed, invitations have been sent out to world leaders to attend the Democracy Day celebration on June 12.

“Since the first observance of June 12 as Democracy Day falls into an election year, and as a measure to sustain June 12 as Democracy Day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12,” Mohammed said.

He said the details of the events slated for the two ceremonies would be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20 in Abuja.

Since Nigeria’s return to Democracy in 1999, the country has celebrated its Democracy Day on every May 29, which was the date, in 1999, when the then Military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar handed over to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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However, President Buhari moved the celebration to June 12, in 2018, in commemoration of June 12, 1993, presidential election which was largely believed to have been won by the late Moshood Abiola but was annulled by then military head of State, Ibrahim Babangida.

Abiola was also awarded a posthumous national award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, an honour that is reserved only for serving or former head of states. At the event, Buhari also apologised to Abiola’s family, on behalf of the federal government, for the “injustice” done to their father by the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

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