June 12 is the celebration of the Democracy Day in Nigeria. The Head of the Government declares this day to be a public holiday. Learn the history behind it from my article.
June 12 is one of the most significant days for Nigerians. It symbolizes the democracy it brought with it into the country. How was it back then, on June 12, 1993? Let’s study the history.
Since 1983 military coup, Nigeria had no democracy. The Head of the state until 1993 was a military person and a general. In 1993 the first democratic elections were head. The representatives of two parties came to fight for an opportunity to lead the country of Nigeria.
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Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, previously a businessperson, an aristocrat and even a publisher, decided to join the race for the Presidential title representing the interests of the Social Democratic Party.
His opponent was Bashir Tofa, a Muslim politician, was the nominee for the President’s post from the National Republican Convention at the time. The elections were held, and allegedly Abiola won the race.
However, the military head of the satte cancelled the results saying that the elections were corrupted and not fair.
As the officials say, no results were ever announced. Abiola died in 1998 after he got to know that he won those elections.
Despite the fact that these elections did not give a way for a new president, they are considered to be a day to remember. That is why Nigerians celebrate it as a Democracy Day.
June 12 is a public holiday now, announced Governor Ajimobi. This is made in an attempt to immortalize the first President who won the democratic elections in 1993, namely Abiola from the Social Democratic Party.
Even though the claims of the former military Head of the State about the corruption during the elections remain, these elections and the fact that they at all took place are considered to mark a beginning for the democracy movement in Nigeria.
“A democracy, that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government after the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness sake, I will call it the idea of freedom.” (Theodore Parker, 1850)
So this day is really worth being a public holiday as a reminder of a day when the State of Nigeria got on its way to the idea of freedom.
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