Late Chief M.K.O Abiola, the symbol of June 12 

Mr Pam Bot-Mang, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Plateau, says June 12 is the actual date to be celebrated as ‘Democracy Day’, owing to its significance in Nigeria’s democratic journey.

Bot-Mang, the immediate past Commissioner of Works in the state, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Jos.

The ex-commissioner argued that May 29, hitherto marked as democracy day, was “a mere creation of the military”, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for moving the date to June 12.

“Even before now, I have always recognised June 12 as democracy day because I believe that May 29 was a creation of the military. It was just a date of convenience for the military.

“June 12 was the day our struggle for the journey towards our political liberation started. This is the day Nigerians went out in their numbers, devoid of ethnic or religious sentiments, and voted for credibility.

“So, moving our democracy date from May 29 to June 12 is a commendable step which will further give us a sense of belonging as a democratic nation,” he said.

On Nigeria’s 20-year uninterrupted democratic journey, Bot-Mang said that the nation had made tremendous progress in terms of nation building and understanding the application of democratic tenets.

According to him, despite the security challenges bedeviling some parts of the country, Nigeria has made noticeable achievements in the social, political and economic sectors and was moving gradually to the pinnacle of glory.

“We are not yet there, but the fact remains that we have made quite some conspicuous progress in our journey as a nation in the last 20 years.

“No nation made it overnight; no nation became great without passing through some hurdles.

“So, with determination and resilience, in no distant time we shall get to our desired destination,” he said.