Democracy Day: Nigeria Marks 21 Years Of Uninterrupted Civil Rule
Today is Democracy Day, a day set aside by the Federal Government to honour the late businessman and politician, Moshood Abiola, believed to have won the 1993 presidential election.
This is the second time Democracy Day is being celebrated on June 12 since the return of democracy in 1999, as it was previously marked on May 29, to commemorate the day power was handed over to a democratically-elected government after years of military rule.
It was first marked as Democracy Day on the new date in 2019 after President Buhari on June 6, 2018, announced that the day would hold on June 12 of every year.
Following that decision, the House of Representatives on December 6, 2018, passed the bill seeking to amend the Holiday Act, which was also passed by the Senate on May 16, 2019, after it was put to a voice vote.
On June 12, 2019, none of the former Heads of State and Presidents attended the Democracy Day celebrations held at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In a statement announcing Friday as a public holiday, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, commended Nigerians for their dogged determination and sacrifice which led to democratic governance in the country.
The day is, however, celebrated on lowkey as Nigeria battles with coronavirus (COVID-19) which has killed thousands of people across the world.
On the eve of the Democracy Day, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced the highest single-day COVID-19 figure, 681 – since the outbreak of the disease in the country.
According to the agency, Nigeria now has 14,554 cases with 4,494 of the patients discharged and 387 deaths recorded.