June 12 is officially a national holiday in Nigeria for the celebration of “Democracy Day” in Africa’s most populous country.
A number of African leaders are in the capital Abuja for the inaugural celebration of the day the military handed over power to an elected civilian government back in 1999.
Until June 6, 2019 when President Buhari signed the law that slated the day as “Democracy Day,” May 29 each year had been celebrated for the particular purpose.
Nigeria is this year thus celebrating two decades of uninterrupted civilian administration spanning four presidents, starting from Olusegun Obasanjo to Umaru Musa Yar Adua, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.
African leaders in Abuja according to local media
- Paul Kagame of Rwanda – who had earlier joined Buhari at an anti-corruption summit on Tuesday
- George Manneh Weah of Liberia
- Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Republic
- Hage Geingob of Namibia
- Macky Sall of Senegal
- Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania
- Mahammadou Issoufou of Niger
- Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana
- Idris Deby Itno of Chad
- Yoweri Museveni of Uganda
- Moussa Faki Mahamat of Head of African Union Commission, AUC.
President Buhari raised eyebrows during his inauguration for a second term which took place on May 29 after he failed to deliver an inaugural speech.
At the time, the official government position was that the ceremony had been done on a low-key without the usual fanfare as the government put more efforts into today’s event.
The president has as expected delivered an address on the occasion of the inaugural commemoration.
The May 29 event had no invited guests and the normal military parades and change of flags were done to symbolize a change of order. Buhari and his vice Yemi Osinbajo took their respective oaths and the event ended.