Monday, May 30, has been declared a public holiday by the Federal Government in celebration of the 2016 Democracy Day.
The declaration, made by the Minister of Interior, Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau in Abuja on Wednesday, was signed by the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Mr Bassey Akpanyung, who in a statement, quoted the minister as wishing Nigerians happy democracy day celebration.
He assured Nigerians that with the signing into law of the 2016 Appropriation Act, the country would witness a “New Deal” with its full implementation.
The minister noted that the 2016 Appropriation Act was laced with social intervention programmes aimed at improving the living conditions of the populace.
Dambazau congratulated Nigerians on the attainment of one year in office of President Muhammadu Buhari and encourage citizens to continue to support the President in his sustained effort to build a peaceful, enduring and democratic legacy.
Brief History of Democracy In Nigeria
It was Abraham Lincoln (a one time American President) who described democracy as “government of the people by the people and for the people.”
Democracy Day in Nigeria, which is usually celebrated annually on May 29, commemorates the restoration of democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when Olusegun Obasanjo took office as the President in May 1999, ending multiple decades of military rule that began in 1966 and had been interrupted only by a brief period of democracy from 1979 to 1983.
The end of military rule brought about a new era of regular elections as well as the return of civil liberties, free press and an end to arbitrary arrests and torture, although human rights violations still occur regularly.
Nigeria also began a long campaign against the bureaucratic and military corruption that had paralyzed its economy and severely tarnished its international reputation.