BREAKING: Finally, June 12 replaces May 29 as ‘Democracy Day’

By Editor on 06/12/2018

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With the endorsement of the House of Representatives on Thursday for June 12 to replace May 29 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, the honouring of the claimed winner of the election held on that historic date in 1993, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, may be nearing completion.

What started with President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, setting in motion for the change of date after a national apology to the family of the acclaimed June 12 icon, who died in the Presidential Villa, in 1998, some hours after release from prison, appears to be coming to reality, with the endorsement at the Green Chambers of the National Assembly.

Abiola, who for five years, was detained by the late Nigerian maximum ruler, Sani Abacha, for standing up to the military junta that nullified the election, believed to be the freest and fairest in the Nigerian history, died a month to that of the former despot, after allegedly drinking a cup of tea offered him in the Villa.

Buhari, in acknowledgement of the significance of the event, last year, in a solemn, but elaborate ceremony, declared that June 12 would now be marked as Democracy Day and a day to handover power.

He subsequently sent a bill for that purpose to the National Assembly and with the House’s approval followed the adoption of a report on a bill seeking to amend the Public Holidays Act 2004, a concurrence by the Senate, may be all that would be required to complete the process.

The lawmakers approved the amendments to three clauses ‎in the Act, as recommended in the report, with one of the clauses deleting May 29 as Democracy Day and replacing it with June 12.

The annulment of the June 12 election by former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida,  had led to intense protest by pro-democracy advocates, with then National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), acting as the arrowhead for the validation of the mandate, and swearing in of Abiola, a demand, which only died down with the death of the late business mogul.

Since then, other activists had canvassed the recognition of Abiola by making June 12 Democracy Day instead of the May 29, a situation which brought them on collision with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.





Posted on December, 6 2018

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