By Lucy Osuizigbo
Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, National Leader of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is excited over plans to celebrate June 12 as democracy day.
He has therefore commended President Muhammadu Buhari again for taking steps to fully recognising June 12.
Tinubu gave the commendation in a statement released by his Media Adviser, Mr Tunde Rahman, in Lagos.
He also urged the National Assembly to cooperate with the presidency to complete the constitutional process of making June 12 Democracy Day.
“To complete this process, that the president has started via Executive Order, we hope that the National Assembly act with reasonable dispatch in cooperation with the presidency to assure that the requisite constitutional amendments are enacted to fully establish June 12 as Democracy Day,” Tinubu said.
The Federal Government had announced that President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration for a second term on May 29 will be low-key and that a number of events slated for the inauguration will be held on June 12.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the announcement when he spoke to State House correspondents on the activities slated to mark the May 29 inauguration.
Buhari had in June last year, directed that from this year, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years, be shifted to June 12, to honour the Late Chief Moshood Abiola.
Abiola was the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the results of which were annulled by former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida on June 23, 1993.
The minister said the decision to have a low-key inauguration for the president was taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on May 8.
He said, however, that invitations had been sent to world leaders to attend the ceremonies, marking the observance of Democracy Day on June 12.
“Since the first observance of June 12 as Democracy Day falls into an election year and as a measure to sustain June 12 as Democracy Day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12,’’ the minister had said.
Tinubu said President Buhari and the Federal Government deserved to be appreciated for the wise and visionary decision.
“By this wise yet visionary decision, the president has scored double: first he has accorded respect to the Constitution, which recognises May 29 as the date to inaugurate new terms of office.
“While at the same time, he is ensuring the country moves on the rightful path to formalising June 12 as new Democracy Day.
“This decision soundly balances current legal requirements with the quest for political justice.
“For this feat in moving the country in the right direction, President Buhari and the Federal Government deserve commendation, “he said.
Tinubu said that June 12 represented an important milestone in the annals of the country’s democratic journey.
According to him, it was the day Nigerians shunned ethnicity and religion to vote for that leader of their choice in an election adjudged clearly free and fair.
The National Leader also urged Nigerians to rededicate themselves to democracy, peaceful co-existence, togetherness and the hope for a greater future, saying that is what June 12 represents.
Recall that on June 12, 2018, President Buhari awarded the late Bahorun MKO Abiola the highest honour in the land, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).
His running mate in the election, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, was also bestowed with the Grand Commander Of the Niger (GCON) award.