Abuja– Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has on Wednesday, declared June 12, as the new Democracy Day, as against May 29.
President Buhari in a press statement made available to The Sight News, said the decision was reached by the Federal government after due consultations.
You would recall that June 12 before now has been a day celebrated to honour late MKO Abiola, whose election was annulled by the then Military leader, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida controversially.
He noted that Nigerians as well as his Administration, sees June 12th, 1993, as being far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st.
Buhari also disclosed that the Government decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the cancelled June 12, 1993 elections.
He also awarded Grand Commander Order of the Niger (GCON) to the then Vice Presidential aspirant Baba Gana Kingibe.
The statement read, “For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29 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 21, 1979.
“But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, June 12, 1993 was far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29 or even the October 1.
“June 12, 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 12 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 12, 1993 cancelled elections.
“His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON.
“Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualisation of the June 12 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 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29 as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.” it ended.