President Muhammadu Buhari has, on Wednesday, declared June 12 the official Democracy Day in Nigeria.
This was made known in a press statement personally signed by President Buhari and published on his Facebook page.
The President also disclosed that the Federal Government has decided to posthumously award Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, popularly known as MKO Abiola, with the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR, the highest national honour of the country.
According to the President, the change in the date from May 29 to June 12 was necessary in order to celebrate the electoral process as well as Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 1993 Presidential elections.
President Buhari said June 12 was the “more symbolic” day in Nigeria’s democratic history in which “Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will” in what he described as the freest, fairest and most peaceful election in the country since her independence in 1960.
Apart from honouring Abiola 25 years after the election, the statement also disclosed that Babagana Kingibe, the running mate to Abiola, would also be awarded the title of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON.
Meanwhile, in recognition of his role in getting Abiola’s mandate validated, late Gani Fawehimi, the legal luminary, would also be posthumously awarded the title of GCON.
The commemoration and investiture, the President added, will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, “a date which in future years will replace May 29 as a National Public holiday in the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day.”