By Ben Nsemo, Abuja
Since Nigeria returned to civil rule on May 29, 1999, the country had observed its democracy day on May 29. However, President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2018, announced June 12 as the democracy day.
The president also posthumously recognised Moshood Abiola, the winner of the 1993 presidential election as a former president and conferred on him the highest honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
The House of Representatives, later that year, passed the bill to ratify Mr Buhari’s declaration. Last week, the Senate also passed a bill in concurrence.
The declaration has left Nigerians in with thoughts, whether May 29 will be public holiday or June 12. But, Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said May 29 and June 12 will be declared as national public holidays.
Lai Mohammed made this known on Monday, while announcing the schedule of events for the transition of political power at the federal level, adding that, “May 29 and June 12 will now be observed as the inauguration day and democracy day, respectively, from this year 2019.”
He confirmed that inauguration into power at the federal level will now be celebrated every four years on May 29 while democracy day will now be celebrated every year on June 12, making both days national holidays.
LIST OF EVENTS:
This year, an event celebrating the first-ever June 12 as the democracy day would commence on Friday, June 7, with an exhibition in arts and pictures and run through June 12, the official announced.
The event is slated to hold at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. It will be followed on Sunday, June 9 by a youth concert and entertainment night, also at the ICC.
On Monday, June 10, there will be a Secondary Schools Exhibition/Panel Discussion at the ICC.
Tuesday, June 11 will feature three events: the PMB Oratorical Contest at the ICC, an Anti-corruption Summit at the Transcorp Hilton and a First Lady’s Commissioning Programme in Yola, Adamawa State.
Wednesday, June 12 will start with a parade at the Eagle Square, and the Democracy Day programme will wrap up with a dinner and gala night at the State House Conference Centre.