Posted by News Express | 8 June 2018 | 1,171 times
Human Rights Lawyer & President, Voters Rights International, Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba, has condemned the annulling of May 29 as Democracy Day and the subsequent replacement with June 12 by President Muhammed Buhari describing it as illegal.
In a letter to the President dated 7th June 2018, the rights activist said “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.
“Mr President, have you forgotten that you were sworn in as elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29th? 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?”
He, however, said “Like all well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy, we join in commending you for proclaiming June 12th 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.
“But 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 29th as National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.
“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,” Ekejiuba said.
He also noted, “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 29th 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.”
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