The Federal Government said in Abuja on Monday that it had invited world leaders to the maiden edition of June 12 Democracy Day in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the commencement of activities slated for the inauguration of the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister, however, said while Buhari would be inaugurated on May 29, the government’s Democracy Day activities would hold mostly on June 12.
Nevertheless, he said the two days would still be observed as public holidays in the country.
He also said despite the security concerns being raised in some quarters, the country was safe for the celebrations.
The minister said the presidential inauguration on May 29 would remain low-key because Nigeria could not afford two elaborate celebrations within two weeks.
He noted, “I said at a press conference at the State House on May 13, 2019 that the inauguration of President Buhari for a second term would be a low-key affair.
“I also said a number of events slated for the inauguration would now be held during the first observance of June 12 as Democracy Day.
“Mr President, last year, declared June 12 as Democracy Day and a national holiday. He also said the official commencement of the new Democracy Day would be in 2019.
“It is in fulfilment of this declaration therefore that the Federal Executive Council decided at its meeting of Wednesday, May 8, 2019, to have a low-key presidential inauguration on May 29 and then defer the celebration that comes with it to the June 12 Democracy Day.
“On the invitation of world presidents to the presidential inauguration, I said leaders would be invited instead to the observance of Democracy Day and that invitations had since been sent out.
“Nigeria is safe for world leaders to attend the celebration. I will not tell you the measures taken for safety. I have no reason to doubt the credibility of the security alarm raised by security agencies. There is no cause for alarm as the security agencies are on top of the matter.”
Asked if the Federal Government would use the two events to extend hands of friendship to those in the opposition camp, especially after a general election characterised with accusations on both sides, the minister said those who wanted to be invited would be invited for the celebrations.
According to Mohammed, the presidential inauguration had already started on Monday, stating that Democracy Day celebration would begin on June 7, 2019.
He said, “Activities leading to the inauguration of the President on May 29 started today (Monday) with this press conference. This will be followed on Tuesday by the commencement of a three-day National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit in Abuja.
“The Federal Executive Council valedictory session will be held at the Council Chambers, State House in Abuja on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, while special Jumat lecture and prayer will be held on Friday at the National Mosque.
“The First Lady’s interaction with women will hold on Saturday while a special interdenominational church service is slated for Sunday May 26, 2019 at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
“On May 27, 2019, Mr President will give a Children’s Day broadcast that will be followed later in the day by children’s variety party. The swearing-in of the President and Vice-President is slated for May 29, 2019 at the Eagle Square, to be followed by a State Banquet in the evening of the same day.”