FG declares June 12 public holiday

School children holding Nigeria flag
TJ
Tochi Juliet

The Federal Government has declared Friday, June 12, a public holiday to mark 2020 Democracy Day Celebration.

Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, announced in a statement issued by Georgina Ehuriah, permanent secretary of the ministry of interior, during a press conference on Monday.

The minister “commended the heroes of democracy for their dogged determination and sacrifice” which led to democratic governance in Nigeria.

Aregbesola called on all Nigerians at home and in the diaspora “to continue to cherish these selfless efforts and collaborate with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to ensure the realization of the democratic ideals which these Patriots fought for, even at the cost of their lives.”

The Minister also commended Nigerians for the entrenchment of democratic rule in the country and reassured “Nigerians of the Federal Government’s commitment to battling the scourge of COVID-19 with the cooperation of all Nigerians”.

He also appealed to Nigerians to stay safe by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2018 declared June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, in place of May 29, the anniversary of the inauguration of the Fourth Republic, which since 2000 had been marked as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.

Mr Buhari made the change in honour of the memory of Moshood Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993 election that was annulled by the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

Mr Abiola eventually died in detention on July 8, 1998, while being held for declaring himself president over the annulled poll.

On December 6, 2018, the house of representatives passed the bill seeking to amend the holiday act.

The bill, which has only three clauses, was also passed by the Senate on May 16, 2019, after it was put to a voice vote.

This is the second time the Democracy Day will be celebrated on June 12 since the return of democracy in 1999.

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