Olufemi Atoyebi and Tobi Aworinde, Abuja
None of the former heads of state and presidents was present at the commemoration of the maiden edition of the newly recognised June 12 Democracy Day celebration on Wednesday.
Following almost 20 years of May 29 as Democracy Day, President Muhammadu Buhari officially recognised June 12 in honour of the late Chief Moshood Abiola’s presumed victory in the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were present at the occasion.
Though the event was also well attended by foreign leaders, none of the former heads of state or presidents was in attendance.
The past leaders include Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); former interim president, Ernest Shonekan; Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.); former President Olusegun Obasanjo; and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Foreign leaders who were in attendance included President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, President George Weah of Liberia, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
Others were 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.