Wed. May 22nd, 2019

Senate passes bill legitimizing June 12 as Democracy Day

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill which recognises June 12 as the country’s new Democracy Day.

The bill, which has only three clauses, was presented at the plenary of the lawmakers by the Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan.

It was passed after it was put to a voice vote by Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in June 2018, announced June 12 as Nigeria’s new Democracy Day, to replace May 29, the date Nigeria usually marked its Democracy Day.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government had accepted May 29 as Democracy Day, since it was the Day civilian government returned to Nigeria in 1999, after years of military rule.

But President Buhari had preferred Democracy Day to be marked on June 12, in recognition of the annulled election of June 12, 1993, which was supposedly won by late Chief Moshood Abiola.

Almost a year after the declaration by Buhari, the Senate on Thursday through the act of parliament confirmed June 12 as the new Democracy Day after considering the bill seeking to amend the Public Holiday Act.

The bill will now be sent to President Buhari for assent as it is in concurrence with that of the House of Representatives.

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