President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Sunday led the service chiefs and other top government functionaries as well as members of the diplomatic corps among others to mark the country’s 63rd independence anniversary at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president joined by Vice President Kashim Shettima and his guests was treated to a potpourri of military drills, including a silent display, colourful parade and a Presidential change of guards performed by officers and men of the Brigade of Guards.
Highpoints during the low-key ceremony in the Villa witnessed the signing of the anniversary register by the president.
President Tinubu thereafter proceeded to cut the anniversary cake as well as release the anniversary pigeons to symbolise peace.
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Other high-profile guests at the ceremony were Chief Justice of the Federation, Olukayode Ariwoola, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, ministers and National Assembly members among others.
Tinubu’s first independence day celebration at the Forecourt of the Presidential Villa replaced the regular full military parade, drills and other sundry entertainments which used to hold at the popular Eagle Square in Abuja.
It would be recalled that former President Goodluck Jonathan marked all subsequent anniversaries under his administration in the forecourt at the presidential villa since 1st of October, 2010 when the anniversary celebration witnessed bomb blasts at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
But former President Muhammadu Buhari administration broke the jinx by marking the 58th Independence Anniversary at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
Speaking after the ceremony, the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, said the current pains were temporary as the president had laid a good foundation for socio-economic development of this country.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of unity.
The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, who said the occasion called for sober reflection, stated the Tinubu administration was committed to improving the life of the average Nigerian through access to the dividends of democracy.
He said the Federal Ministry of Power was committed to ensuring that Nigerians were saved from the years of energy poverty they had suffered.
Adelabu, however, used the opportunity of the anniversary to appeal to Nigerians to exercise some level of patience and understanding.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, called on Nigerians to keep faith with President Tinubu’s administration as he geared the country towards the entrenchment of democracy and sustainable development.
The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in her remarks on Sunday at the 63rd Independence Day Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service, held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, appealed to Nigerians to celebrate the unity that defined our diversity as the nation marked her 63rd Independence Day Anniversary.
President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, yesterday, in a statement, called on the government to implement sustainable economic policies that would bolster our local currency, stimulate investment, and revitalise key sectors.
The body urged the Federal Government and labour unions to find a balanced solution that minimised the impact on vulnerable Nigerians during the ongoing negotiations.
Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, called on Nigerian leaders to govern with sincerity, patriotism and all sense of responsibility in an attempt to salvage the country from its current challenges in a speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary held at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State also charged Nigerians not to be deterred by the challenges, saying that “Everyone of us has a role to play in building a united, strong and prosperous nation.”
Governor Nasiru Idris enjoined people of Kebbi State and Nigerians to sustain the sound thinking, dream and vision of the country’s forefathers if Nigeria must achieve its desired development and economic progress.
Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji and his counterpart from Benue State Hyacinth Alia also appealed to the organised labour to sheathe its sword and exhaust the avenue of dialogue to resolve issues around the planned indefinite strike action slated to commence on Tuesday.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who said the safety and security of lives and property remained a priority of his administration, called on everyone to maintain a peaceful environment where democracy could thrive.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, urged Nigerians to continue to pray and work in unity to overcome the nation’s economic challenges.
The Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, who was represented during the anniversary celebration at the Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium in Minna, the state capital, by his deputy, Yakubu Garba, urged citizens to continue to imbibe the spirit of oneness as a tool for peace and development.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the country’s march to greatness was on course and on a stronger footing, regardless of the challenges of nation building.
By Muideen Olaniyi, Abbas Jimoh, Joshua Odeyemi (Abuja), Salim U. Ibrahim (Kano), Habibu I. Gimba (Damaturu), Ismail Adebayo (Birnin Kebbi), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Tijani Labaran (Lokoja), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Abubakar Akote (Minna), Hope A. Emmanuel (Makurdi) & Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin)