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Celebrating late Abubakar Rimi who declared May 1 as public holiday in Nigeria, by Kunle Odufuwa


Celebrating late Abubakar Rimi who declared May 1 as public holiday in Nigeria, by Kunle Odufuwa

We celebrate May Day as a work free day every year but forget to celebrate the late Abubakar Rimi, the then People’s Redemption Party (PRP) Governor of Kano State, and a member of the Progressive Governors Forum in the Second Republic who first declared May I as a public holiday in Nigeria in 1982 amidst criticisms and condemnation by the members of the then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) that Rimi’s action was aimed at inciting the Nigerian workers against the then Federal Government headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Interestingly, the government declared May Day as a national work free day the following year in an attempt to ensure that Rimi and the other progressive governors who had decided to adopt Rimi’s initiative did not take political advantage of the situation.

Today, May Day is a national holiday in Nigeria in line with other countries of the world. Thanks to the revolutionary decision by the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi.

May his patriotic soul rest in perfect peace. Wish Nigerian Workers a rewarding May Day.


By Kunle Odufuwa.

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