By Doris Esa
The Federal Government has declared Friday, June 12, as public holiday to mark the 2020 Democracy Day Celebration.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, through a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, on Monday in Abuja.
Aregbesola congratulated all Nigerians at home and abroad for the entrenchment of democratic rule in the country.
He commended the heroes of democracy for their dogged determination and sacrifice which eventually birthed Democratic Governance in Nigeria.
Aregbesola called on all Nigerians to continue to cherish these selfless efforts and collaborate with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration to ensure the realisation of the democratic ideals which these Patriots fought for, “even at the cost of their lives.”
He reassured Nigerians of the Federal Government’s commitment to battling the scourge of Coronavirus (COVID-19) with the cooperation of all Nigerians.
The minister advised Nigerians to further take responsibility for stopping the spread of the virus.
Aregbesola reiterated the need for all Nigerians to stay safe by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.
He wished all Nigerians at home and abroad a Happy Democracy Day Celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on June 6,2018, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that henceforth Democracy Day will be marked every year on June 12, rather than May 29 which had been observed as Democracy Day since 1999 when the current democratic dispensation began.
The shift is in honour of Late Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12 Presidential election.
President Buhari also conferred on Abiola the highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.
Also to be honoured are Abiola’s running mate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, and late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN. Both would receive the second highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON) which is reserved for Vice President. (NAN)