IT’S ILLEGAL TO ANNUL MAY 29 TH AS DEMOCRACY DAY
Like all well meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy, we hereby join in commending you for proclaiming June 12 th as Democracy Day and National Public Holiday in Nigeria as well as your posthumous award of the highest national award of GCFR conferred on late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the presumed winner of June 12, 1993 cancelled presidential election.
We also welcome the deserved conferment on late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, the iconic human rights crusader with the second highest award of GCON, along with Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.
However, Mr President, you erred when you declared in your press statement to wit:
“The investiture will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29 th as National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day”.
Mr President, have you forgotten that you were sworn in as elected President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29 th ? Have you also forgotten the significance and importance of May 29th which in the democratic history of Nigeria has witnessed the swearing in of four Presidents of Nigeria namely: Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and your humble self.
The above declaration translates to annulling May 29th as Democracy Day and National Public Holiday which was legally proclaimed by President Olusegun Obasanjo administration because of its significance. The limit you could have done was to proclaim June 12th as Democracy Day and National Public Holiday.
Mr President, with due respect, it is illegal for you as a successor sitting President to annul the presidential proclamation of May 29th as Democracy Day and National Public Holiday which have been institutionalized, gazetted and actualized for the past 19th years of Nigeria’s unbroken democracy by a mere stroke of a Press Statement without recourse to the National
Assembly made up of elected representatives of the Nigerian people.
The opinion and wishes of the Voters who elected the unsworn President-elect, late Chief M.K.O. Abiola could not have been more valued and respected than the opinion and wishes of the Voters who elected these sworn Presidents who have actually governed Nigeria.
We therefore, call on you Sir, to respect the wishes of both sides of the political divide by recognizing both May 29 th and June 12th as Democracy Days and National Public Holidays as any attempt to actualize the above declaration of replacing May 29th with June 12th as Democracy Day and National Public Holiday will be challenged at the Court of Justice.
BARRISTER JEZIE EKEJIUBA
HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER; PRESIDENT, VOTERS RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL