Democracy Day in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Democracy Day is a public holiday observed every June 12th, marking the annulled general election of 1993. Before 2018, this holiday was observed on the 29th of May. However, President Buhari changed the date to June in 2018. Since 2019, the holiday has been observed on its current date on the calendar.

This holiday is extremely important in Nigeria, which is why it is observed as a public holiday, with the general population receiving a day off and many government offices and businesses closing for the day. It is a day that remembers the country’s long struggle against military dictatorships and the hope for democracy to be strengthened in the country.

The History of Democracy Day in Nigeria

On May 29th, 1999, General Olusegun Obasanjo was elected as Nigeria’s President. This was only the second time in the country’s history that an elected civilian administration was restored after the rule of a military junta, the first being on October 21st, 1979. Obasanjo remained in office until May 29th, 2007.

In June 2018, Nigerian President Buhari announced that Democracy Day would move from May 29th, its previous date, to June 12th. It was moved because the annulment of the general election on June 12th is considered a more fitting occasion for this holiday than the events of May 1999.

On June 12th, 1993, the election was presumed to have been won in a landslide by MKO Abiola, the standard-bearer of the Social Democratic Party. However, millions of Nigerians had expressed their democratic power during the general election when Military President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida annulled the elections, citing irregularities.

Some Interesting Facts About Nigeria

Below are several facts about Nigeria that we discovered during our research on Democracy Day. We have placed these factoids below for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully, they prove to be not only entertaining but also informative as well.

  • Nigeria is home to over 200 million people, making it the seventh most populous country in the world.
  • The majority of religious people in the country are either Christian or Muslim.
  • Nigeria’s film industry, known as Nollywood, is second only to India’s Bollywood, making it one of the largest film producers in the world.

Observing Democracy Day in Nigeria

This holiday is observed every year with political speeches, parades, and other events. Because it is a day off for many people, it is also a day to spend with friends and family members. Additionally, it is a day to enjoy fine foods such as Jollof Rice, Iyan, and Puff-Puff. On social media, the hashtag #DemocracyDayNigeria can be used to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Nigeria (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 12 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
June 12 Thursday
Last year (2023)
June 12 Monday