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June 12 struggles is gradually paying off as Nigeria’s House of Representatives endorsed the day as official democracy holiday as against May 29 usually celebrated as democracy day in Nigeria.
The federal lawmakers gave the endorsement on Thursday following the consideration of a bill seeking to amend the public holidays act.
The National Assembly began the amendment of democracy day after President Muhammadu Buhari declared June 12 as the new date for Democracy Day to honour Moshood Abiola, presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.
Opposition party PDP faulted the action of the president, saying it was politically motivated, while lawmakers argued it cannot be effective except there is a law to that effect.
It prompted the introduction of a bill titled ‘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”.
The lawmakers approved the amendment of three clauses in the act, one of which changed the Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12.
There were several calls from June 12 advocates that June 12 be declared democracy day since 1999 but PDP government ignored such calls until APC-led took the bold move.