Changing Democracy Day to June 12 in Nigeria


On June 12, 1993, elections were held in Nigeria for the first time since the 1983 military coup. This election was won by an astute business man, Moshood Kashimawo Olawole Abiola, a candidate for the Social Democratic Party. For the first time since the coup, Nigeria held its fairest election, presided over by the INEC chairman at the time, Professor Humphrey Nwosu.

Unfortunately, the president elect could not assume presidential duties as the election was annulled by the then military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida. This led to serious conflict in the country, resulting in a coup deposing Babangida, who was replaced by General Sani Abacha until his demise in 1998.

Now, in 2019, the current president of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, has acknowledged that for true peace to be achieved, the past sometimes needs to be reassessed. This has taken the form of an unreserved apology to the family of Moshood Abiola, who has since passed away, and a pledge to move Nigeria’s Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12 henceforth.

This represents a deeply historical moment for the Yoruba race (Abiola’s Kinsmen) and the Nigerian People at large.