On June 6, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari declared that June 12 will henceforth be marked as Democracy Day nationwide. The first Democracy Day on June 12 was the moment which ushered in the 2nd coming of President Buhari.
And in a jiffy, it is one year already that that the first June 12 Democracy Day was celebrated.
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Evidently, the need to make June 12 the new Democracy Day was largely informed by the need to celebrate the legacy of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 polls, M.K.O Abiola, whose election was annulled by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
The new Democracy Day also came along with the inauguration of the 2nd Term administration of Buhari after a hard-fought election in February/March 2019. But Nigerians have only been in a curbed celebratory mood – owing to the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn being felt by the entirety of the nation.
As many governments in Nigeria, be it state/local/federal, are wont to evaluate their performance after one year in office, the Democracy Day being celebrated today also grants an opportunity to reflect on the past one year in the Nigerian polity.
From the Federal government, it has been silent as usual from the officials highlighting achievements of their own administration or giving a scorecard. Other than the customary Democracy Day speech which the president delivered on the work-free day, no review which is verifiable by the public was released by any official in the presidency.
However, some state governments such as Oyo, Edo, Lagos, Ogun among others thought it proper to either give a full report or an abridged account of their service so far to the people. Local governments are nowhere to be found still.
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Giving such accounts of service to the public is the crux of accountability in governance. It is the basis on which performances of government officials should be measured. Such accounts as that given after specific years in office as this June 12 Democracy Day, should normally form the minimum yardstick which will always inform the choice of the electorate whenever a politician seeks re-election.
And again, as we celebrate the first June 12 Democracy Day in Nigeria after the new administration has been sworn in, we are reminded that we have just about two more Democracy Days to mark before we make another vital decision which could set our nation free of toil at last.
Featured image source: vanguardngr
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