…Says nation’s unity can’t be compromised
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Federal government on Thursday disclosed that the nation”s 60th independence anniversary will be celebrated for a whole year, ending September 30th 2021.
The 60th anniversary celebration, which comes up on Thursday, October 1st, according to the government, will be low keyed with staggered events during that period.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced this in Abuja at a press conference on the activities lined up for Nigeria@60 celebration.
Flanked by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Alli Isa Pantami and his counterpart in Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk, Alhaji Mohammed explained that the one year set aside for marking of the nation’s 60th anniversary celebration does not mean there will be daily activities between now and Sept. 30th 2021,
The Minister of Information and Culture said, “let me say here that the 60th anniversary celebration will be celebrated for a whole year, ending September 30th 2021.
“Therefore, there are some activities that may come up after the ones to be announced today.
“This does not mean there will be daily activities between now and Sept. 30th 2021, but that there will be staggered events during that period”, he said.
The Minister explained further that the theme of this year’s independence anniversary celebration, which is
‘Together’, is aimed at “keeping us united and helping us to forge ahead, while the logo is already in the public domain”.
According to him, “The 60th independence anniversary celebration will be low-key, as Mr. President has already announced.
“Of course, this is not unconnected with the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has forced some safety protocols on nations around the world.
“Therefore, the pomp and pageantry that should have marked the celebration will be largely missing”, he stated.
Noting that some may be wondering why Nigeria needs to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee at all, considering the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing the country, Alhaji Mohammed said, “And our answer to that is contained in our theme of ‘Together”
He added, “For a country that has gone through a bitter, internecine civil war, years of political crisis, daunting security challenges, including religious and ethnic crisis, etc, our unity and our resilience (which by the way is what diamond represents) are worth
“Also, in certain cultures, the age of 60 is seen as the beginning of a new cycle of life, and is usually well marked.
“For Nigeria as a country, the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari offers a new beginning.
“The Administration is working assiduously to build a new Nigeria, laying the building blocks for industrial and technological development by building massive infrastructures in the areas of power, roads, bridges, rail etc. and by developing human capital.
“The Administration is also fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and diversifying the economy by leveraging ICT, Creative Industry, Agriculture and mining, among others”, he pointed out.
Among the various programmes lined up for the independence anniversary celebration are; Public Lecture on
today (Friday September 25th), Special Jumat Prayers also today and Inter-denominational Church Service on Sunday at the National Christian Centre, Abuja by 3pm.
Others include; Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy as well as Integrity Award by Mr. President to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ICPC on Monday September 28th,Historical Exhibition, also on Monday and Presidential Broadcast on Thursday, October 1st.