The Nation has revealed how President Buhari, governors, and others celebrated Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary on Friday.
Nigeria celebrated 61st Independence on Friday, October 1, 2021.
Nigerians all over the world, on Friday, celebrated the 61st anniversary of the nation with fanfare and messages of hope.
In Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari led other Nigerians to mark the anniversary.
The President reviewed a military parade, leading an array of dignitaries to honour the country.
He arrived at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the event, and was received by senior government officials, before being approached by the Parade Commander, Lt. Col. Salim Hassan, for permission to commence the parade.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), led the long list of other senior officials of the government to watch the anniversary parade.
The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila; the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, were among those at the event.
Also present at the ceremony were former President Goodluck Jonathan; former Head of State, General Abdulsalamu Abubakar (rtd); former First Lady, Dr. Patience Jonathan; ministers, other government officials.
The event also had traditional rulers, the labour unions, paramilitary organisations and others in attendance.
Meanwhile, security was beefed up around the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where the Eagle Square, venue of the ceremony, is located.
As at 2pm on Thursday, through early hours of Friday, all entry points leading to the venue of the ceremony were cordoned off.
Security personnel drawn from the Nigerian Police, Army, DSS, NSCDC officials among others were seen mounting guard at various entry points to the venue.
Most participants and top dignitaries who attended the event were subjected to screening at the entry point to the Eagle Square.
The event which ended at noon was largely hitch free.
18 inmates get pardon in Ondo
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Thursday granted state pardon to 18 convicted inmates serving term in various Correctional centres across the state.
A total of 26 death row inmates had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akeredolu, Richard Olatunde, in a statement, said the convicts were released having shown remorse and good conduct at the correctional centres.
The statement charged the freed inmates to be of good conduct and live a crime-free life.
In a statewide Independence Day broadcast, Governor Akeredolu called for urgent restructuring of the country to reflect the diversity and address the various misunderstandings as well as the high rate of criminality in the country.
Akeredolu noted that the current system adopted in the county does not encourage ingenuity.
He warned that the country faces serious challenges bordering on redefinition.
Akeredolu said the unique diversity that was supposed to be a source of strength was gradually becoming the country’s albatross.
Reprieve for four in Plateau
In the spirit of independence, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Friday pardoned four inmates for exhibiting good conduct while serving in the correctional center.
Those who were granted pardon are: Obinna John, Sagir Mukaila, Teryile Ishi and Daniel Honok.
Lalong in his independence message to the people of Plateau said nepotism, indiscipline, intolerance and corruption are the major bane for Nigeria under development.
According to him: “Independence Anniversary and in exercise of the powers conferred on me as Governor in Section 212 of the Constitution of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), after due consultation with The State Advisory Council On Prerogative Of Mercy, I have granted absolute pardon to four (4) Prisoners serving jail terms having been convicted for various offences.
“Let us therefore ask ourselves what has stagnated our progress and made us operate below our capacity.“
Bayelsa has made good progress at 25 – Diri
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has urged Bayelsans to appreciate God for the creation of the state as it has witnessed remarkable development in 25 years of its existence.
Diri stated this on Friday in a statewide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st and Bayelsa State 25th anniversary aired on all the major stations in Yenagoa.
The governor noted that although the state had not developed to the level it desired to be, it had witnessed appreciable growth in terms of human and infrastructure development compared to when it was part of the old Rivers State.
While calling on all sons and daughters of the state to close ranks and support his administration to move the state forward, Diri stressed that there was no other state they could call theirs, urging them to avoid acts that would pull the state backward.
While giving an overview of achievements of the state within 25 years of creation, the governor said Bayelsa now has established higher institutions that are producing quality graduates, constructed and dualised several roads linking seven local government areas as well as connected to the national grid and also has a functional airport, which commercial flight operations commenced on August 19, 2021.
Don’t lose hope, Sanwo-Olu tells Nigerians
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has admonished Nigerians not to lose hope despite the many challenges confronting the people of the nation. “My message to every Nigerian is that we have no reason to lose hope. While we are not where we would like to be as a country and a people, we are also no longer where we used to be.”
He re-assured Lagos residents that the government is doing everything possible to ensure the security of life and property. He said all hands are on deck to make the dream a reality.
Sanwo-Olu, speaking yesterday at Agege Stadium during the 61st Independence Parade, promised that the government would continue to make the environment conducive for businesses to ensure economic development.
He said: “As we celebrate today, we are mindful of the various challenges confronting us as a nation and as a state. But we are equally mindful of the various vistas of progress that have opened up, and which continue to give us hope that we can achieve the Nigeria of our dreams.
“Even in the face of the many challenges confronting us as a people and as a nation, my message to every Nigerian is that we have no reason to lose hope. There is enough evidence that shows that while we are not where we would like to be, we are also no longer where we used to be. More than ever before, it is time for all of us to close ranks and view our differences as an energising force, and unite with renewed determination and commitment to move this country forward against all odds.
“The challenges we have been confronted with in the last 61 years have been daunting, but certainly not insurmountable. A new mindset is required to overcome them; a conviction that it is possible, and that our strength truly lies in our diversity.
“I am proud to affirm that Lagos State provides a perfect example, within the Nigerian nation, of the level of greatness a people of diverse ethnic, religion and cultural background can attain if they resolve to live together in peace and harmony.
“I assure you that nothing is more important to this administration than ensuring the security of lives and property across the metropolis. No stone is being left unturned to ensure that culprits are brought to justice and, importantly, ensure we are able to act preventively and nip crime and criminality in the bud.
We believe in one Nigeria, says Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that the belief of the state in one, united Nigeria is the reason it will not stop demanding a better country.
Speaking at the March Pass and Parade to commemorate the 61st Independence of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Friday, the governor also suggested convocation of a national dialogue to evolve new peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria based on justice and equity.
He said the National Assembly would stand condemned by the people and God if it at least failed to yield to overwhelming demands of Nigerians for electronic transmission of election results.
Recounting the success of his administration, Wike said: “Because of our belief in one Nigeria, our state will never cease to demand the remaking of the country to reflect true and fiscal federalism, devolution of more powers and resources to States and local governments.
“Above all, we must defend the basic structures of democracy and good governance by rising up to protect our right to free, fair and credible elections by demanding for the immediate incorporation of electronic voting and simultaneous transmission of results into our electoral system, which the nation’s electoral management body has repeatedly said, it has both the capacity, commitment and infrastructure to effect, if only the National Assembly would allow.”
He said the people’s demand had nothing to do with politics or sentiments, but had a lot to do with the survival of the country, which he said remained superior to all other considerations.
Wike said there should be a total reformation of the repressive police system to allow for effective governor’s oversight, control and funding at the state level.
He said: “We have spent the last six years laying the most concrete foundations for rapid economic growth and put the entire State on the path to a prosperous future.
“Our economy has grown far beyond the national average and is expected to accelerate even further in the coming years with the measures we have put in place, including fiscal discipline, improved revenue generation and massive provision of infrastructure as long as the nation maintains an appreciable level of macro-economic stability.”
He insisted that the National Assembly abandoned its check and balance roles over the executive, while the judiciary had lost its courage, integrity, and commitment to justice.
Nigeria full of potential, Kwara governor
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has said that in spite of the current challenges, Nigeria remains great and full of potential.
The governor said this in his Independence Day anniversary’s speech.
Said Mallam Abdulrazaq: “I join Mr. President and the rest of the country to felicitate our compatriots, especially the people of Kwara State, on the 61st independence anniversary. There is no pretending that our country is undergoing a truly challenging phase in national development. However, I am upbeat that we will emerge better, stronger, more united and prosperous as a people.
“We may not be where we want to be, but our country is definitely neither stagnant nor hopeless. With more doses of unity, patriotism, discipline, positive disposition, and belief in the strength of our diversity and ingenuity as a people, we will attain our full potential as the largest nation of black people in the world.
“I therefore congratulate Mr. President, identify with and acknowledge his strides in infrastructural development, and the efforts to curtail insecurity while fostering national peace and stability. Kwara people and our administration will always show a good example in how to live and grow together in peace and harmony.”
Masari decries divergent tendencies, conflicts
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, yesterday called on Nigerians to work towards nation building and remain steadfast for a strong country that is devoid of constant conflict with one another as a result of divergent tendencies.
Masari who made the call in a statement signed by the Director General, Media and Publicity, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary, said amidst daunting security challenges, Nigerians should remain steadfast in their belief for a strong and united Nigeria.
He said” for Nigeria to develop into the country of our dream, we should make no room for tendencies that will exploit our fault lines and pitch one section against another in a needless confrontation”.
“As the nation ages, our attitude should reflect the journey which has brought us this far together, and the reason behind the journey,” he said.
Masari further expressed worry at the tendency by Nigerians to regard the travails of the section of the country with ”lackadaisical attitude”, adding that such attitude is not helpful to the collective interest of the nation.
He said: “In the race towards building a better, stronger and united nation, we should not allow divisive sentiments to put us asunder.”
“We would do well to realize that whatever affects one part of Nigeria affects all of Nigeria, and it is in the interest of us all to collectively face any challenge affecting a section of the country, as doing otherwise will only give room for adversity to envelope the whole country”.
“Let us also put aside our different tongues and creeds and confront our challenges as Nigerians”.
He called for more support to President Muhammadu Buhari, to enable him succeed in repositioning the country towards the path of sustainable development.
Makinde calls for more support for state, nation
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Friday called on all citizens and residents of the state to join hands with the government to make the state and Nigeria as a whole a better and proud giant of Africa.
This is as he urged the people to remain loyal and proud of the country even in the face of the myriads of challenges facing the nation.
The governor spoke as he led other top government functionaries, Service Commanders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, socio cultural groups, youth groups, students amongst others on the 61st National Independence Day Celebration.
The anniversary celebration, with the theme: ‘Impact of Insecurity on the Economic Development of the Nation’ took place at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital city.
The celebration which kick-started with a parade by officers and men of the Police Force, was followed by march past by primary and secondary school students, voluntary youth organisations, workers’ unions, and the paramilitary.
Speaking, Governor Makinde, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, said security is everyone’s business and the people must as such cooperate with security operatives.
He assured the government would not relent in its efforts to ensure that the state does not divert from the path of greatness and development of the people.
Speaking further on the theme, the governor pledged his unflinching support to both conventional and unconventional security agencies operating in the state in a bid to achieve a more secured Oyo state.
Makinde said: “We have all seen a very beautiful parade and have made history today. Today is the 61st independence anniversary of Nigeria and we are celebrating it in a beautiful brand new stadium. I am sure that it was a beautiful experience for the children and for all those who paraded.
“If you compare this stadium today to the way we have used it in the last twenty or thirty years, I am sure you can see that the difference is very clear.
“As we celebrate Nigeria today, I’ll like every one of us to tap our chest with joy and be proud to be Nigerians because there is a lot to be proud about being Nigerians.
“And we all need to remember that we will do it together; the government and the good people of Oyo State will make our state and Nigeria better.”
Government functionaries in attendance include: Chief of staff, Segun Ogunwuyi; Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdul Mojeed Mogbonjubola; Oyo State Head of Service, Alhaja Amidat Agboola.
The list also include the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi (III), the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Soliu Adetunji and other notable traditional rulers in the state.
The highlight of the celebration is the distribution of prizes to winners of the march past and essay writing and debate competitions organised to mark the anniversary celebration.
Abiodun preaches unwavering faith In Nigeria
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has called for an unwavering commitment to Nigeria and all that is Nigerian, saying despite all the challenges, the country has recorded many achievements.
Citing the education sector as one of the areas where the country has witnessed growth, Abiodun said that with just one university at independence, Nigeria now has almost 200 universities, urging Nigerians to stand firm for what is noble, edifying and wholesome as well as fight those ills that have shackled and held the country back.
He spoke at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, the state capital while delivering his speech to mark this year’s independence anniversary celebration which was attended by organised labour unions, associations, students, government officials among others.
Abiodun called on the nation’s youth to make themselves active participants in shaping the present future Nigeria of their desires, nothing that enormous responsibility is now on them to build a new Nation that works for ever Nigerian, regardless of tribe, religion, political affiliation, and geographical location.
He said : “…Let me particularly call on our youth. You are the worthy inheritors of a glorious past, active participants in shaping the present and indeed the generation that owns the future.
“The people who own the future must be active participants in the process of building the future they desire. The journey to Greater Nigeria begins with you.
“You must be part of the crop of the new Nigerians from all nooks and crannies of this country, who take the best of the past into the future whilst leaving behind the disempowering vestiges and narratives.
“I enjoin you to continue to be self-assured, creatively-inclined, open-minded, patriotic and be of strong character. The task of a new Nigeria rests squarely on your shoulders, and I have no doubt that, working together as one people, you can and will change the narrative of our dear nation.”
“The successive leaders have tried their best, now you have the enormous responsibility to build a new Nation that works for every Nigerian, regardless of tribe, religion, political affiliation, and geographical location. WE CAN do it. Together: Come, Let us build.
“I see hope for the future of Nigeria in you, our youths. You are the SUCCESSOR GENERATION, a generation we have hope and faith in. I see hope in shining stars like Faith Odunsi, the winner of the Global Open Mathematics Competition and many others in her kind.
“I see hope in our different young Ogun laureates who consistently do us proud in different academic and other competitions such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). I see hope in our various medalists at other global competitions.
“I see hope in the results of our young Agric-preneurs. In fact, I see hope in the energy and creative genius of our youth who as scientists, sports men and women; songsters and artists contribute to our visibility in the new world order.
“Your bustling energies and resourcefulness should provide for us a new pathway for a great country. Do not let anyone discourage you. Your age is an advantage to our national development.“
Senate President charges politicians, Nigerians to embrace peace, unity
Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Friday charged politicians and other stakeholders in the country to always preach peace to their followers for the unity, stability and progress of the country as one entity.
He spoke after the special Jumaat prayer to mark the 61st independence of Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians to unite for the progress of the country and to continue to keep faith in their fatherland
“This is the first year of our seventh decade as a nation and also the second year of the third decade of the Fourth Republic. I find it remarkable that we are living in the longest era of democracy in our history as a nation.
“That may seem modest as an achievement but it is an additional cause for celebration in the light of our political experience,” Lawan said.
He said every patriot will always remember with pride the historic moment on October 1, 1960, when the British Union Jack was lowered and the Green-White-Green flag hoisted in its place.
He noted that it is up to the leadership, the political leadership in particular across the country to ensure that they do the right thing by passing the right message to their followers.
The Senate President further urged that nobody should feel less Nigerian wherever he or she has decided to stay once that person is a citizen of the country.