Saturday, June 12, 2021

Some Information For Non-Nigerians About Nigeria's Democracy Day Holiday (June 12th) & Some Information About Nigeria's June 12, 2021 Protests

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides some information for non-Nigerians about Nigeria's Democracy Day holiday (June 12th). This post also provides some information about Nigeria's June 12, 2021 protests.

The content of this post is presented for informational and historical purposes. 

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all those who are peacefully protesting in Nigeria. 
Click for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "An Alphabetized List Of Some People, Products, And Events Mentioned In Tweets About The Nigerian Twitter Ban (June 2021)".

Click for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "Examples of Nigerian Tweets The Include The Words "Coconut Head" Or "Coconut Head Generation".

Links to other pancocojams posts about the current situation in Nigeria are given in those posts.

Excerpt #1:
From "When is Democracy Day Nigeria?" [retrieved June 8, 2021; no publishing date or author cited]
“Democracy Day in Nigeria is on June 12th. It’s a national public holiday to mark the Nigerian general election on June 12th 1993.

It used to be celebrated on May 29th, but the date was moved to June 12th in 2019.


History of Nigerian Democracy Day

Since the year 2000, Democracy Day has been celebrated in Nigeria on May 29th.

However, in June 2018, Nigeria’s President Buhari made the announcement that Democracy Day would be moved to June 12th from 2019 onwards.

This was because they viewed the general election of June 12th 1993 as a more fitting date to celebrate, representing the values of democracy more than the events of May 1999.

On June 12 1993, there was a Nigerian general election. This was the first presidential election in 10 years since the 1983 military coup. Many political observers and Nigerians saw this election as the most significant date in Nigeria’s post-independence history, and it’s viewed as the freest and fairest election held in Nigeria.

MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party was agreed to have won the election after around 14 million Nigerians exercised their democratic rights and voted in the election. This would have put an end to eight years of military dictatorships.

However, the election was annulled by President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, who claimed there were irregularities.

It’s now agreed by most foreign observers that the initial election result was free and fair, and it should never have been annulled. Of the 30 states, Abiola won 19 of them. There were around 14 million votes cast in total, and Abiola received over 8 million.

After the result was annulled, there were violent protests across the south-west regions of Nigeria, and the government shut down media houses and arrested journalists who covered the issue. The final result was eventually leaked by activists who defied the laws to reveal the Abiola majority. Abiola was eventually arrested, detained and charged with treason after declaring himself the true President.

As such, Democracy Day is now celebrated on June 12th to commemorate this election, and MKO Abiola (who should have won the annulled election) was awarded the honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

After a long and arduous journey towards it, Nigeria is now the fourth-largest democracy in the world.”

Excerpt #2
"Democracy Day is June 12, a national public (bank) holiday in Nigeria. Until June 6, 2018, it was held annually on May 29. Democracy Day marks the day the military handed over power to an elected civilian government in 1999, marking the beginning of the longest continuous civilian rule since Nigeria's independence from colonial rule in 1960. It is a tradition that has been held annually, beginning in year 2000. June 12 was formerly known as Abiola Day, celebrated in Lagos, Nigeria and some south western states of Nigeria.

Nigeria's Democracy Day is a public holiday to commemorate the restoration of democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. May 29 was initially the official democracy day in Nigeria, marking when the newly elected Olusegun Obasanjo took office as the President of Nigeria in 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.

On June 6, 2018, eight days after May 29, 2018 had been celebrated as Democracy Day, the President Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria declared June 12 to be the new Democracy Day.



Nigeria gained independence on 1st October, 1960 from Great Britain then Nigeria fell prey to the first of so many military coups on 15th of Jan 1966,[2] and then, a civil war. Nigeria is therefore an emerging nation state, and we must be sure not to overlook the important difference between emerging democracies (which often are found in newly emerging states) and established democratic regimes existing in states with long traditions of uninterrupted sovereignty.[3] The core of democracy is the principle of popular sovereignty, which holds that government can be legitimated only by the will of those whom it governs [3] and thus it can be understood why a military coup may not be seen as a democratic regime, and during these times Nigeria was not a democratic state.

For most of its independent history, Nigeria was ruled by a series of military juntas, interspersed by brief moments of democratic rule, for example from 1979 to 1983 with Alhaji Shehu Shagari. The last major military ruler was Gen. Sani Abacha, who died suddenly in 1998. His successor, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar promised a transition to democracy, and accordingly a new constitution was adopted on May 5th, 1999. Elections were held and retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, who had previously governed Nigeria as a military ruler, was elected the new president.

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."

June 5, 2021 ARTICLE ABOUT THE JUNE 12, 2021 PROTESTS PLANNED IN NIGERIA (And Elsewhere Around The World About The Siuation In Nigeria)
From "Nigerians set to hold nationwide protest on June 12" By Ije OPARA On Jun 5, 2021

NIGERIANS are set to stage a nationwide protest on Democracy Day June 12 against ‘bad governance’ under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Majority of the citizens who took to various social media platforms, including Twitter to express their displeasure about the leadership of President Buhari, have hinted that the protest would be held to demonstrate against ‘dictatorship’ of the president.

A Twitter user, Dr Rita Onyejesi @agbomma71 called on other Nigerians to join the protest, saying  the citizens lack basic amenities, yet their rights to freedom of expression were being taken away.

“Enough is Enough, woke up today & noticed that my Twitter can’t load without a VPN.We have no good Road, no job,no light everything is “No” &they want to take our freedom of expression and interaction too. They have bitten more than they can chew #June12Protest,” Onyejesi said.

A human rights activist Deji Adeyanju @adeyanjudeji also said the youths would be protesting on June 12 against insecurity, nepotism, economic woes, among others.

“To the youths planning nationwide protests tagged #june12protest over insecurity, nepotism, bigotry. Unemployment, banditry. economic woes, human rights violations, incompetence and corruption! How can we all join?,” Adeyanju tweeted.

Another Twitter user who identifies Towolawi Jamiu Endsarsnow @jharmo said the protest was necessary adding that if Nigerians did not resist the Twitter ban, someday, the president could suspend the constitution and introduce a martial law.

“When a regime has failed totally, it will result to the use of excessive force.The @MBuhari regime is testing the ground with the #TwitterBan and if not resisted, it will move to suspend the Nigeria constitution and introduce a martial law. #June12Protest is a date with history,” Jamiu posted on Twitter."


[Hyperlinks to the first three top trending hashtags are given in this post.]

Example #1

June 12, 2021 [7:35 AM ET]
On June 12 at 7:37 AM, eight of the ten top trending hashtags in the United States are for Nigerian topics:

1. #June12thProtest -1632K [Nigeria]

2. #KeepitOn - 758K [Nigeria]

3. #DemocracyDay - 58K [Nigeria]

4. #BuharMustGo - 37K [Nigeria]

5. #EndBadGoveranceInNigeria - 33K [Nigeria]

6. Reekado - [Nigeria]

7. Ojota- 64K [Nigeria]

8. MONSTA X IS LOVE -15K [K-Pop]

9. Abuja- 172K [Nigeria]

10. WE WANT RESPONSES -333k [K-Pop]

Example #2 
Retrieved at 8:30 AM ET 
"40 minutes ago

#June12thProtest -2013K [Nigeria]

#KeepitOn -933K- Nigeria]

#BuhariMustGo -133K [Nigeria]

#DemocracyDay -72K [Nigeria]

#EndBadGoveranceInNigeria -46K [Nigeria]

Reekado [Nigeria]

Wizkid - 75K [Nigeria]

Good Saturday -15K- [USA]

Ojota -84K- [Nigeria]

Abuja -205K

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