Democracy Day in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Democracy Day is a public holiday that’s observed every June 12th and marks the annulled general election of 1993. Before 2018, this holiday had been observed on the 29th of May, but President Buhari changed that date to June of 2018. From 2019 on, the holiday has been observed at its current position on the calendar.

This holiday is extremely important in Nigeria, and that’s why it’s observed as a public holiday with the general population receiving a day off and many government offices and businesses being closed for the day. It’s a day that remembers the country’s long history 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 Nigeria’s President. This was only the second time in the history of the country that an elected civilian administration was restored after the rule of a military junta. This had previously happened on October 21st, 1979.  Obasanjo was in office until May 29th of 2007.

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

On June 12th of 1993, the election was presumed to be won in a landslide by MKO Abiola, the standard bearer of the Social Democratic Party, but millions of Nigerians expressed their democratic power during the general election. 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’ve 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. That makes it the 7th most populous country in the world.
  • The majority of religious people in this country are either Christian or Muslim.
  • Nigeria’s film industry is known as Nollywood. It’s second only to India’s Bollywood. That makes 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’s a day off for many people, it’s a day to spend with friends and family members as well. It’s also 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 (2023)
June 12 Monday
Next year (2024)
June 12 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
June 12 Sunday