Lagos State Government led by Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola has toed the path of his south-west states counterpart as the state declared June 12 a Public Holiday.
Pressure was mounting on Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, to declare a public for workers in state public service as his counterparts in the southwest region have done.
As at the last count, three states: Ogun, Osun and Oyo, have all declared the day a work free day for public servants in commemoration of the annulment of the June 12 1993 Presidential Election described as the freest and fairest in the history of the country.
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi will also announce the day as a work free day later today.
Osun has even gone one step higher above its contemporaries in the region with the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, preparing a bill for presentation to the state Assembly to make June 12 the official Democracy Day for the state.
Last year, Fashola only declared half free working day for civil servants in the state, the first time he would do so since he assumed power on May 29th, 2007. Ironically for the eight years his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu governed the state, June 12th was always a public holiday in the state.
Even when Otunba Gbenga Daniel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was governor of Ogun state, June 12 was a public holiday.
Lagosians have watched with shock when Fashola assumed office and decided to do away with the June 12th holiday matter. After much criticism, Governor Fashola declared a half free working day last year.
The Oyo and Osun governments like their Ogun counterpart on Monday declared Wednesday as work free to commemorate the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, cancelled by the military government of the time. Dr Fayemi of Ekiti is also expected to follow suit later today.
In a statement in Ibadan, Dr Festus Adedayo, the Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Media, said the holiday was to mark the 20th anniversary of the election, adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s political history.
The statement said the holiday was also a recognition of the martyrdom of the late Chief MKO Abiola the acclaimed winner of the election. It said Abiola ought to be honoured for laying down his life for Nigerians to enjoy democratic governance. Similarly, the Commissioner for Information in Osun, Mr Sunday Akere, said in a statement in Osogbo that the holiday was to recognise when an election adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria was annulled.
Akere said that June 12 would continue to stand for democracy and good government and as such nothing was too much to honour the day.