The story of Nigeria will definitely not be complete without the mention of June 12. Not a few Nigerians opine that that day is the real Democracy day and not May 29. The clamour has been on for several years now for the Federal government to declare the day as the real Democracy day in place of May 29.
In this vein the House of Representatives has just approved that June 12 be marked as Democracy Day in Nigeria.
The approval followed the adoption of a report on a bill seeking to amend the Public Holidays Act 2004.
Considering the report at the plenary on Thursday, the lawmakers approved the amendments to three 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.
For the 12 June 1993 presidential elections, Abiola’s running mate was Baba Gana Kingibe. He overwhelmingly defeated his rival, Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention. The election was declared Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election by national and international observers, with Abiola even winning in his Northern opponent’s home state. Abiola won at the national capital, Abuja, the military polling stations, and over two-thirds of Nigerian states.
Men of Northern descent had largely dominated Nigeria’s political landscape since independence; Moshood Abiola, a Southern Muslim, was able to secure a national mandate freely and fairly, unprecedented in Nigeria’s history. However, the election was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, causing a political crisis which led to General Sani Abacha seizing power later that year. During preparations for the 2011 Nigerian Presidential elections there were calls from several quarters to remember MKO Abiola.