The federal government of Nigeria has stated that there is no federal public holiday on June 12 this year following its declaration as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
On the Twitter account of the Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) the Presidency explained that public holidays will be observed from 2019.
“The Federal Government wishes to clarify to the public that the Federal public holiday on June 12, recently declared as the new Democracy Day, begins from next year 2019, and not this year.
“Hence, June 12 this year is not a public holiday,” the tweet read.
On 6 June, President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 has the new Democracy Day despite having celebrated Democracy on May 29 in the last 18 years.
“For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29 as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government.
“The first time this happened was on October 21st, 1979. But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1.
“June 12 th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence.
“The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.
“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, government has decided to award posthumously the highest honour of the land,
GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th 1993 cancelled elections.
“His running mate as Vice President, Amb. Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON.
“Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualization of the June 12 elections and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN is to be awarded the GCON.
“The investiture will take place on Tuesday June 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29 as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.”