Nigeria’s federal government has declared Friday, June 12 as public holiday to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day.

Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, made the announcement on Monday via a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

Aregbesola commended the heroes of democracy for their dogged determination and sacrifice in promoting democratic governance in the country and hailed all Nigerians for normalizing civilian rule.

The minister asked citizens to continue to “cherish these selfless efforts and collaborate with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to ensure the realization of the democratic ideals which these patriots fought for, even at the cost of their lives.”

Nigeria’s freest and fairest election to this day, was conducted on June 12, 1993 and was won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.

The election was however annulled by then military dictator Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB)

Abiola died in government custody on July 7, 1998 while trying to realise his mandate.