Senate passes Bill confirming June 12 Democracy Day
The Senate Thursday passed the Bill confirming June 12 as Democracy Day to replace May 29.
The Public Holiday Act (Amendment) Bill was one of six House Bills up for concurrence on the floor of the Senate at plenary on Thursday.
The Public Holiday Act (amendment bill 2004) seeks to make June 12 as the new Democracy Day to replace May 29, which marks the official handing over of military to civilian administration.
This follows the passage of the bill in the lower chamber last December in honour of the late politician, Moshood Abiola who contested in the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential elections.
Senate’s passage of the Public Holiday Act (Amendment) Bill which now officially confirms June 12 as Democracy Day comes on the heels of an announcement by the Nigerian government that inauguration day known as Democracy Day has now been moved June 12.
This followed presentation of conference report by Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan at plenary on Thursday.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki put the conference report to a voice vote and it was adopted by the lawmakers.
In the bill, which was passed by the house of representatives on Nov. 26, 2018, the current democracy date, which is May 29, was deleted and replaced with June 12.
On June 12,1993, presidential election was held and adjudged to be the freest in the country’s history.
However, the results were annulled by the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
In the process, one of the presidential candidate who was reported to have polled most votes, Mr Moshood Abiola lost his life.
25 years after, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018, announced that the nation’s Democracy Day would hold on June 12 of every year as against current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.
The national assembly however needed to amend the public holiday act to give the directive a legal backing, to make it binding.
Meanwhile, the senate concurred with five other house of representatives bills.
The bill is to be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.