President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday extended “Presidential Handshake’’ to all Presidents and Heads of Government from different parts of the globe who honoured Nigeria’s invitation to its Democracy Day 2019 celebration in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president, who arrived at the Eagle Square, venue of the democracy day celebration at about 10.05 a.m., immediately observed the National Parade mounted by members of the Nigeria Armed Forces which included the army, navy and air force.
The president, who returned to his seat after observing the slow and quick march parade, however, went round to greet all the dignitaries, including the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and wife, world leaders, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as well as diplomats who were seated inside the State Box.
Among the visiting presidents were President Idris Deby of Republic of Chad; Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Liberia, George Weah; President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Others were President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda, President of the Gambia, Adama Barrow and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou.
The nation is marking its Democracy Day on June 12 for the first time following the signing into law the Public Holidays Act Amendment Bill by President Buhari on June 10.
The Act declared June 12 of every year as public holiday and Democracy Day in Nigeria.
NAN also reports that today’s event is also set aside to celebrate 20 years of uninterrupted civilian rule in the country.