The memorable date in the nation’s history June 12, when the acclaimed freest and a fairest election was conducted in 1993, is now the National Democracy Day.
With an articulated endorsement yesterday by the Senate of a bill earlier passed by the House of Representatives to that outcome, June 12 has become fully immortalised, after about 26 years of protest for the date to be accorded this recognition.
Consequently, the National Holiday Act has been amended to stir Nigeria’s Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12. still, May 29 remains as the date when one administration will hand over to a succeeding one in compliance with the supplies of the 1999 Constitution regarding the term of administrations in nigeria.
The amendment is in agreement with the House of Representatives’ approval earlier in December 2018. The adoption was follow-up to a report by the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, for the Senate to concur with the House.
The three clauses of the modification bill were passed by the Whole Committee when Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy President of the Senate, who presided over the session, put them to voice vote.
The legislation is now due for transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
Buhari had in June 2018 earlier declared that the Democracy Day would henceforth hold on June 12 of every year. He made the declaration as the Federal Government honoured the late Chief Moshood Abiola, the celebrated winner of the 1993 presidential election, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCON), conferment on him of the highest national award,
Buhari had also conferred the second highest national honour to Abiola’s running mate in the election, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, and foremost human rights lawyer, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger award.
Originally, the bill, which was together paid for by Edward Pwajok and Kayode Oladele, to the House of Representatives sought to bring the National Holiday Act in tandem with the existing realities and exigencies of the modern times.
When he introduced the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives last year, Pwajok had explained that before 1979, there were separate acts regulating public holidays in the country.
Yoruba Spokesman of socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said “If this government truly believes in June 12, the last presidential election wouldn’t have been allowed to stand because it did not reflect the true wishes of Nigerians as June 12 truly did.”