After eight years of sombre celebrations, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an elaborate programme to mark the nation’s 58th independence anniversary.
On October 1st 2010, two car bombs went off around the Eagle Square, Abuja, while government functionaries and foreign dignitaries were commemorating Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary also tagged the ‘golden jubilee’.
Charles Okah and his cohorts were alleged to have masterminded the attacks which left at least 12 people dead and 17 others seriously injured.
Okah was later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, for the attack.
But briefing newsmen on the line up of 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.
He gave the theme for this year’s celebration as, “Harnessing Our Diversity for National Development”, adding that the weeklong activities will kick off from Tuesday 25th September to Thursday 27th September, with a photo exhibition on national history with the sub theme, “The Footprints of Our Political Leaders”.
Aduda added that the event will run for three days at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.
“On Friday 28th , a national lecture and juma’at prayer will take place at the National Mosque while on Saturday 29th September, the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari will host children from various orphanages and IDP camps. On Sunday 30th Sept, 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 1st , 2018,” Aduda said.
According to him, other activities of the celebration includes match 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 stated.