Nigerian Government has declared May 29 and June 12 as public holidays to mark handover and Democracy day respectively.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja.
Mohammed added that most of the activities formerly performed on May 29 as Democracy day have been moved to June 12, and that the events slated for May 29, would be low key.
He said world leaders will only attend the June 12 events.
Until June 6, 2018, the Democracy day was held annually on May 29, the day the military handed over power to an elected civilian government in 1999, marking the beginning of the longest continuous civilian rule since Nigeria’s independence from colonial rule in 1960.
It is a tradition that has been held annually, beginning in year 2000.
Nigeria’s Democracy Day is a public holiday to commemorate the restoration of democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
May 29 was initially the official democracy day in Nigeria, marking when the newly elected Olusegun Obasanjo took office as the President of Nigeria in 1999, ending multiple decades of military rule that began in 1966 and had been interrupted only by a brief period of democracy from 1979 to 1983.
On June 6, 2018, eight days after May 29, 2018 had been celebrated as Democracy Day, the President Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria declared June 12 to be the new Democracy Day.
This was done to commemorate the democratic election of MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993, in what has been adjudged to be Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. It was, however, cancelled by the Ibrahim Babangida Junta.