SWITZERLAND, MAY 16 – The Senate has endorsed the shift in Democracy Day celebrations from May 29 to June 12 in a plenary session on Thursday.
The upper chamber unanimously concurred with the House of Representatives on the passage of a bill seeking to legalise June 12 of every year as Democracy Day in Nigeria.
If the bill is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, May 29 celebrated as Democracy Day since 2000 will cease to be so marked.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in June 2018, as a way to immortalise late Chief M.K.O Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
To give the Presidential declaration necessary legal backing, Hon Edward Pwajok (APC Plateau) and Hon. Kayode Oladele (APC Lagos), sponsored a bill to that effect in the House of Representatives last year.
The bill passed third reading in in the House in March this year.
The bill passed by the House in March, sought for an Act to amend the Public Holidays Act to declare June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria in view of current realities and exigencies of the modern time.
Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced that it had postponed the celebration of the upcoming second term inauguration of president Muhammadu Buhari to June 12. The swearing-in will still take place on May 29 , but it will be a low key affair.
“President Buhari’s inauguration for a second term on May 29, 2019, will be a low-key affair, as a number of the events slated for the inauguration will now be held during the first observance of June 12 as the National Democracy Day, ” a statement from the government reads.