UPDATE: Buhari signs June 12 Democracy Day bill into law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law a bill making June 12 of every year a national public holiday and Democracy Day.

He assented to bill on Monday in his office at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this to correspondents soon after the President performed the ceremony.

By this act, June 12 has now replaced May 29 as Democracy Day and national public holiday.

The enactment of the June law does not, however, alter the status of May 29 as Inauguration Day for new administrations but it will not now be a public holiday.

The federal government had made the inauguration of President Buhari for a second term a low key affair to enable it to celebrate June 12 as Democracy Day.

The proclamation of June 12 as the new democracy day is in honour of late Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election.

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Buhari had last year proclaimed June 12, a day commemorating the inconclusive presidential election of 1993 presumed to have been won by Late MKO Abiola, as the Democracy Day.

He also conferred a posthumous award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic on the late politician.

Before that presidential declaration, Nigeria, under the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had been observing May 29 as both handing over date and Democracy Day since 1999.

The Southwest states were until this year marking June 12 separately as Democracy Day with a public holiday.

A bill to replace May 29 with June 12 which the president assented to on Monday was passed by the two chambers of the Eight National Assembly recently.

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