See Programmes Scheduled To Hold On Maiden June 12 Democracy Day
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has given an update on activities for the upcoming maiden June 12 Democracy Day celebration, describing it as “triumph of people’s will after decades of subversion”.
Naija News understands that the Senate on last week Thursday passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill to recognize June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
The minister who was speaking on activities lined up by the federal government for the May 29 inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the first democracy day celebration on June 12, said “For me, the lessons of June 12 is that no matter is the situation, the peoples will must always triumph.
“Temporarily, you might subvert them but ultimately the peoples will must triumph. “That is why many decades after June 12 1993, somebody came around and said the day which had been denied to celebrate the nation’s democracy now stands,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Buhari’s Information minister was speaking on Wednesday when he featured on African Independent Television (AIT) programme, “Kakaaki”.
According to Mohammed, the celebration is in fulfillment of President Buhari’s declaration last year of June 12 as democracy day and a national holiday with official commencement in 2019.
He said that both chambers of the National Assembly had endorsed the pronouncement.
NAN reports that the declaration was to commemorate the democratic election of the late MKO Abiola as President on June 12, 1993. The election, adjudged to be free and fair, was, however, annulled by the then military president, Gen.Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).
Naija News earlier reported the minister recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting on May 8 gave approval for the May 29 inauguration to be low-key, while major events scheduled to mark Democracy Day should be shifted to June 12, when the maiden Democracy Day celebration would hold.
Responding to question on progress made so far since 1993, the minister said, “democracy all over the world is work in progress and the nation has improved democratically.
“When you look at our trajectory of democratic evolution there have been a lot of improvement in our electoral process.
“An example is the introduction of the card reader and the increase in political participation. “Although, it might not be perfect right now but I think we are on the right path,” he said.
The minister, who stressed that world leaders had been invited to attend the maiden democracy day celebration, assured that the country is safe and all slated events would be hitch-free.
He listed some of the programmes slated for the two events to include a three-day National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit which started on Tuesday.
The FEC Valedictory Session of May 22, special Juma`at lecture and prayers on May 24 and the First Lady’s interaction with women on May 25.
Others included special Interdenominational Church Service on Sunday, May 26, Children day broadcast by the President on May 27 which will be followed by a Children’s Variety Party the same day.
The President and the Vice President will be sworn-in on May 29th at the Eagle Square, to be followed by a State Banquet at the State House in the evening of the same day
The minister said that the events to celebrate June 12 as Democracy Day would begin on June 7 with a historical exhibition in art, pictures and immersive environment which will run through June 12.
According to him, June 10, would witness a Youth Concert, Creative Industry, Entertainment Night on June 9 and Secondary Schools Exhibition/Panel Discussion, while three events, namely: PMB Oratorical Contest at the ICC; Anti-corruption Summit at the Transcorp Hilton; and First Lady’s Commissioning Programme in Yola, Adamawa will feature on June 11.
Mohammed also noted that June 12 will start off with a parade at the Eagle Square, just as a Dinner and Gala Night at the State House Conference Centre will wrap up the Democracy Day programme.