By Nimi Princewill.
The National Assembly passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill yesterday to recognise June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier announced that the date would replace May 29 for Nigerians to mark the return to civilian rule. While the president came under intense criticism by some members of the National Assembly who emphasized on the fact that Democracy Day cannot be changed by just a declaration, others applauded his decision.
The President’s declaration was later backed by the Senate, after lawmakers considered the bill a year after his announcement. The bill, which is in tandem with that of the House of Representatives, will be forwarded to the President for assent.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday, June 6, 2018 declared June 12 as the new date to commemorate Democracy Day in the country, to honour the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola (MKO).
He maintained that the date was more symbolic of democracy in Nigeria than May 29, or even October 1.
The President had earlier conferred a posthumous GCFR title on MKO Abiola, while Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, his running mate in the 1993 election got a GCON national honour.
The House of Representatives had long adopted June 12 as the new Democracy Day.