President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, announced that June 12 will be celebrated as the new Democracy Day.
About a year after, the president on Monday, June 10, signed the Public Holiday Amendment Bill into law.
The new law, according to the president’s senior special assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, allows public holiday to be declared on June 12 every year, while May 29 is to be a handing-over date and working day.
“By the act amended and signed by Mr President, May 29 is no more a public holiday. June 12 is now a public holiday and the country’s Democracy Day,” Enang said.
Since 1999, May 29 has been observed as public holiday and Democracy Day.
Today will be the first time that Democracy Day will be observed on June 12.
In signing of the bill into law, the federal government also declared today as public holiday to commemorate the maiden National Democracy Day.
READ ALSO: FLASHBACK: Full results of June 12, 1993 election that gave Abiola victory
The federal government has invited world leaders for the maiden June 12 Democracy Day celebration instead of the May 29 inauguration ceremony to save cost.
The May 29 handing over was low-key as a number of the events slated for the occasion were moved to June 12 Democracy Day.
The event marking the June 12 Democracy Day celebration kicked off on June 7 with a Historical Exhibition in Arts, Pictures and Immersive Environment.
The historical exhibition was on June 9 followed by a Youth Concert, Creative Industry and Entertainment Night at the International Conference Centre.
On June 11, there was a Secondary Schools Exhibition/Panel Discussion which featured three events, the PMB Oratorical Contest, an Anti-corruption Summit and First Lady’s Commissioning Programme in Yola.
The maiden June 12 will start off this morning, Wednesday, June 12, with a parade at the Eagle Square and the Democracy Day programme will be wrapped up with a Dinner and Gala Night at the State House.
Legit.ng will be providing live updates of the historical June 12 celebration as the celebration kicks off at the Eagle Square.
Democracy Day: When Should We Celebrate It? | Legit TV
DSS announces no arm policy inside Eagles Square, bars Armed security personnel
The Department of State Service (DSS) has announced no arm policy inside Eagles Square and barred armed security personnel.
Long queues, thorough search at all entrances leading to Eagles Square
The security operatives are conducting thorough searches as Nigerians form long queues at all entrances leading to Eagles Square.
Buhari, Osinbajo, world leaders arrive Eagles Square for Democracy Day celebration
President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have arrived the Eagles Square in Abuja where the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations are holding for the first time.
World leaders in attendance include the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Liberia, George Weah; President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Others are: President of Senegal, Macky Sall; Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda; President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow; President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou; President of Guinea-Bissau, José Mário Gómes Vaz and President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, among others.
President Buhari inspects the Guards Brigade at Eagles Square
President Buhari inspecting the Guards Brigade at Eagles Square.
We are victims of June 12 – Third Republic senators
A group of third republic legislators said that they are the true victims of June 12.
The group of legislators made this claim at the Eagles Square as the Democracy Day activities are ongoing.
They argue that they have not been compensated and have lost about 145 of their members over the years.
Recall that in 1992, both the bicameral legislative elections and the presidential election were annulled by the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida.
Babangida went on to postpone the polls, however, the military leader annulled the results again, claiming that there was a high level of irregularity within the electoral process.
Third Republic senators lament, say they are victims of June 12 – Credit: Channels TV
Dignitaries in attendance at Eagles Square
Dignitaries are already present at Eagle Square as the Democracy Day celebrations continue. The security chiefs including; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique and Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, have also arrived.
The state governors and ministers also in attendance.
Business moguls, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola have also arrived. The leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has arrived too.
Traditional rulers are also in attendance.
Children of the late MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election are at the venue. They are Hafsat Abiola-Costello and her brother, Jamiu Abiola.
All former heads of state are absent at Eagle Square
All former heads of state of Nigeria are reportedly absent at Eagle Square where the maiden June 12 Democracy Day celebration is taking place.
Exciting videos you should not miss from the Democracy Day celebration
Watch the Nigerian National Troupe as they entertain guests at Eagle Square
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