The House of Representatives on Thursday approved that June 12 be marked as Democracy Day in Nigeria. The current date, May 29, was deleted from the Public Holidays Act and replaced with the new date.
The presidential election acclaimed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history was held on June 12, 1993, but the results were annulled by the then military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
The approval followed the adoption of a report by the Committee of the Whole on a bill seeking to amend the Public Holidays Act 2004.
The bill was entitled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Holidays Act, Cap. P40 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to bring the Act in tandem with the current realities and exigencies of the modern times and to declare June, 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria and for Related Matters.’
It was sponsored by Messrs Edward Pwajok and Kayode Oladele.
Considering the report at the plenary on Thursday, the lawmakers approved three amended clauses in the Act, as recommended in the report.
One of the clauses deleted May 29 as Democracy Day and replaced the date with June 12.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in June announced that the nation’s Democracy Day would henceforth hold on June 12 of every year, as against the current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.
The amendment bill had on November 22, 2018, narrowly escaped being dropped at the House when members debated it at the second reading.