In This 20th Year Of ‘Democracy’ By Edwin Madunagu

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Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, which is currently running, was born on May 29, 1999—with Olusegun Obasanjo as inaugural executive president. A year later, on May 29, 2000, the president proclaimed May 29 of every year Nigeria’s “Democracy Day”. The day was also added to the list of the country’s national public holidays. It was a unilateral executive decision—by which I mean that neither the proclamation of “Democracy Day” nor the declaration of public holiday was endorsed, before the acts, by the constitution or any legislative body or any other institution of the Nigerian state or any organized public opinion.

It is a fact of the Nigerian history that President Olusegun Obasanjo’s executive proclamation and declaration were criticized, at that time, by the National Assembly, parties other than the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), state assemblies and…



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