How Nigerians react to June 12 as Democracy Day
NEWS DIGEST–Amendments done to three clauses in the Public Holiday Act 2019 means Nigeria’s Democracy Day will seize to be May 29 but June 12.
The Senate Thursday passed the amended bill, after the Lower Chamber had passed on and transmitted the bill in December 2018.
This came after President Muhammadu Buhari had, in June 2018, declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day. Although, his declaration cannot to come to effect until the National Assembly has amended the earlier version of the Holiday Act.
The Act, according to Edward Pwajok, PDP lawmaker representing Jos South/East Federal Constituency, Plateau state, will take effect once the Public Holiday Act has been amended.
The turn of things on the new declaration has triggered varying measures of reactions from Nigerians in the online media space.
While some lauded the move, some simply swipe it aside as a political stunt by the government of the day.
Senator Shehu Sani, People’s Redemption Party (PRP) lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, was among those who pitched their tents in the first camp. He expressed his satisfaction about been “part of the historic passage” of the new democracy day date.
“As a front liner in the 1993 June 12 struggle, I’m pleased and delighted to be part of the historic passage of the June 12 Democracy Day Bill in the senate today; And this is dedicated to all those who made sacrifices for democracy,” the senator wrote on his Twitter wall.
Former Aviation minister during the Obasanjo-administration, Femi Fani-Kayode, shared the thought of Mr Sani. To him, the Buhari-administration deserves commendation for declaring the date as “the real Democracy Day”.
He nonetheless took a swipe at the People’s Democratic Party for not beating the All Progressive’s Congress to the move.
“I remain an ardent critic of the @MBuhari admin. but there is one thing that I shall always commend them for: the establishment of June 12th as the real Democracy Day. Sadly not one @OfficialPDPNig govt, including the one I served from 2003 till 2007, had the courage to do that.”
For Revmadaniel, a tweeter user on @revmadaniel, it was elation: “Today I heard the news that June 12 has been ratified as Democracy day in Nigeria. I’m so glad my friends didn’t die for nothing.”
At the other end of the divide stands the People’s Democratic Party. The Opposition Party accused the ruling All Progressive’s Congress of feeling guilty as a result of the “burden of illegitimacy” from what the Party called “stolen mandate”.
“June 12: The @OfficialPDPNig derides the President @MBuhari Presidency and the @OfficialAPCNg for thinking that moving major events of its planned Presidential inauguration from May 29 to June 12, the democracy Day can confer any form of legitimacy to the outcome of the rigged 2019 Presidential election.
“It is clear that the @MBuhari Presidency and the @OfficialAPCNg being tormented by the guilt of violating our electoral processes, can no longer boldly approach the oath book on May 29, due to the burden of illegitimacy and now seeks refuge in the sanctity of June 12, our Democracy Day,” read a series of tweets posted by the Party.
Ugochukwu Raymond Obi who tweets via @Raymondpreach downplayed the development, calling it a misplaced priority.
“We need laws, bills, reforms that will steer us in the right direction, not declaring June 12 as democracy day, how does that put food on my table,” he tweeted. “Consider Rwanda my brother, we can do better than them, na bad leaders be our problem, no one excluded.”
Bello kolawole smells a rat. “Buhari scammed Yoruba Nation with June 12 as Democracy day…..😂,” read the tweet on the handle, @Princemkb1.
Another user @uzorhenry, named Henry Chuks Uzor, calls for “a total short down of Nigeria to Stop APC Federal gov. From changing Nigeria Democracy day to June 12, wake up if you believe.”
The presidency has announced that the inauguration on May 29 will be low key.