Nigerian Government has declared May 29 and June 12 as public holidays to mark the transition to a new government and Democracy Day respectively.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
Mohammed said 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 the year 2000.
On June 6, 2018, eight days after May 29, 2018, had been celebrated as Democracy Day, the President Buhari-led government of Nigeria declared June 12 to be the new Democracy Day.
Prior to the government’s declaration, Nigeria Senate last week passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill to recognise June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day.
The bill was passed almost one year after Buhari announced that June 12 would replace May 29 for Nigerians to commemorate the return of democratic.
Although a few lawmakers protested the change in date of Democracy Day, it was, however, approved after a majority of the lawmakers supported passage of the bill.
The passage of the bill means the amendment to the Public Holiday Act has been effected in concurrence with the House of Representatives.
With the assent granted to the bill by President Buhari, Nigeria will observe May 29 and June 12 as public holidays annually.