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May 29, June 12 will be public holidays

Valentine Chinyem

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The federal government has said May 29 and June 12 will be declared as national public holidays. They will now be observed as the inauguration day and democracy day, respectively, from this year.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known, on Monday while announcing the schedule of events for the transition of political power at the federal level.

He confirmed that inauguration into power at the federal level will now be celebrated every four years on May 29 while democracy day will now be celebrated on June 12, making both days national holidays.

Since Nigeria returned to civil rule on May 29, 1999, the country had observed its democracy day on May 29.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, announced June 12 as the democracy day.

The president also posthumously recognised Moshood Abiola, the winner of the 1993 presidential election as a former president and conferred on him the highest honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

The House of Representatives, later that year, passed the bill to ratify Buhari’s declaration.

Last week, the Senate also passed a bill in concurrence.

Until now, only the six states in the South-West, the region Abiola comes from, recognised June 12 as a public holiday.

The minister said democracy day would be celebrated on June 12, while presidential inaugurations will hold every four years on May 29.

This year, an event celebrating the first-ever June 12 as the democracy day would commence on Friday, June 7, with an exhibition in arts and pictures and run through June 12, the official announced.

The event is slated to hold at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. It will be followed on Sunday, June 9 by a youth concert and entertainment night, also at the ICC.

On Monday, June 10, there will be a Secondary Schools Exhibition/Panel Discussion at the ICC.

Tuesday, June 11 will feature three events: the PMB Oratorical Contest at the ICC, an Anti-corruption Summit at the Transcorp Hilton and a First Lady’s Commissioning Programme in Yola, Adamawa State.

Wednesday, June 12 will start with a parade at the Eagle Square, and the Democracy Day programme will wrap up with a dinner and gala night at the State House Conference Centre.