The Nigerian government has declared Friday, June 12 as public holiday to mark this year’s Democracy Day celebration.Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mrs.Georgina Ehuriah on Monday in Abuja.
The minister congratulated Nigerians at home and abroad for the entrenchment of democratic rule in the country and commended the heroes of democracy for their dogged determination and sacrifice in promoting democracy in Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians 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 reiterated the government’s commitment to battling the scourge of COVID-19 and seeking the cooperation of all Nigerians.
In doing this, he wants the citizens to take responsibility for stopping the spread of the virus by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.
The Nigerian government in 2019 changed the Democracy Day previously celebrated on May 29 every year to June 12 in remembrance of persons, who lost their lives in the protest against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Chief MKO Abiola.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in his speech to mark the Democracy Day on June 12, 2019, that it was to correct the injustice as a pre-requisite for peace and unity. “As part of the process of healing and reconciliation, I approved the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and invested the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe with National Honours, as I did with the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
“The purpose was to partially atone for the previous damage done in annulling the Presidential elections of that year,” he said.