The President of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari earlier today (yesterday), declared June 12 as the new date for democracy day celebration in the country.
The President who made this known via a press release said the date is appropriate as it represents a historic date in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.
The President also said the decision was taken after many consultations and among other things, while also awarding a posthumous award to late Chief MKO and Kingibe both of whom contested and won the truncated June 12, 1993, elections.
The elections which outcome was generally accepted as a free and fair election was annulled by the then military head of State, General Babaginda in 1993.
In a series of tweets, the presidential handle reads:
Dear Nigerians, I am delighted to announce that, after due consultations, the Federal Govt has decided that henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day.
We have also decided to award posthumously the highest Honour in the land, GCFR, to the late Chief MKO Abiola.
Chief Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be awarded a GCON.
Furthermore, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, tireless fighter for human rights & democracy, & for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 elections,will be posthumously awarded a GCON.
In the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12, 1993 was and is far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29, or even October 1.
June 12, 1993 was the day millions of Nigerians expressed their Democratic will in the freest, fairest & most peaceful elections since our Independence. That the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Govt does not detract from its democratic credentials.