Nigeria’s president has named a new date for the country to mark democracy day.
Instead of being on 29 May it will now be celebrated on 12 June – which means this year Nigerians will get a bonus holiday.
In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari said the new date had been chosen to commemorate the elections on 12 June 1993 when the military annulled the results.
He said that date was more symbolic for Nigerian democracy:
Twelfth June 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.”
Mr Buhari said that for the past 18 years Nigerians had been celebrating 29 May as Democracy Day, which was the date when for the second time in the country’s history, an elected civilian administration had taken over from a military government.
But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this administration, 12 June 1993 was far more symbolic of democracy in the Nigerian context than 29 May.”