19 September 2018

Nigeria: Govt to Mark Nigeria at 58 With Fanfare, 8 Years After Bomb Blast

After eight years of low key celebrations, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an elaborate programme to mark Nigeria's 58th independence anniversary.

It would be recalled that on October 1, 2010, bomb explosions went off around the Eagle Square, Abuja, while Nigeria's 50th independence anniversary celebration was going on.

At least 12 people dead and 17 others, for which Charles Okah was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

But briefing journalists on the activities for this year's event, the Chairman, Independence Day Central Organising Committee and a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Gabriel Aduda, said there was several reasons to celebrate as Nigeria's freedom did not come on a platter of gold.

According to him, in spite of diverse challenges, Nigeria has remained one and indivisible entity.

He gave the theme for this year's celebration as, "Harnessing Our Diversity for National Development".

He said the weeklong activities will kick off on Tuesday September 25 to Thursday September 27, with a photo exhibition on national history with the sub theme, "The Footprints of Our Political Leaders" at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

"On Friday, September 28, a national lecture and Juma'at prayer will take place at the National Mosque while on Saturday, September 29, wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, will host children from various orphanages and IDP camps. On Sunday, September 30, there will be an inter-denominational church service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja which will be followed by a state broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 1, 2018," Aduda said.

According to him, other activities of the celebration include a march past by military and para-military forces, labour unions and the National Youth Service Corps.

"The festivities will climax with air display by Air force fighter jets over the skies of Abuja, paratroopers display and military equipment fanfare and finally a gala night at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja," he said.

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