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Nigeria’s Former presidents, heads of state, others shun June 12 Democracy Day celebration

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All Nigeria’s former Presidents including Olusegun Obasanjo, failed to attend the June 12 Democracy Day celebration which held on Wednesday at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

The former presidents and Heads of state were scheduled to be seated at the venue of the event at 9:35 a.m., but they were conspicuously absent at about 10:06 when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived the venue.

The event is the first since Buhari approved June 12 as Democracy Day in honour MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election.

It would be recalled that May 29 had been observed as democracy day since the return of democracy in the country in 1999.

Buhari took his oath of office for his second term on May 29, but major events of the programme were moved to June 12.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as well as Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives are in attendance.

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While Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, attended the May 29 event, he was conspicuously absent at the one of June 12.

Aside Gowon, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Ibrahim Babangida, also former heads of state as well as Ernest Shonekan, former interim president, were absent at the celebration.

Ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan also shunned the event. But world leaders majority of whom are from Africa where on hand to celebrate the day with the leadership of the country.

The world leaders in attendance were President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President George Weah of Liberia; President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo; and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Adama Barrow of Gambia; President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic; President José Mário Gómes Vaz of Guinea-Bissau and President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic were also present at the celebration.