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Published On: Fri, Sep 29th, 2017

When Saudi Embassy in Nigeria celebrated National Day

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Saudi Arabian National Day is celebrated in Saudi Arabia on every 23rd September each year to commemorate the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by King Abdulaziz in 1932. It is a National Holiday that is expected to be observed by Saudi Arabian mission all over the world, in view of this reality; the Saudi Embassy in Abuja celebrated the event with funfair. Ochiaka Ugwu was there for Peoples Daily.

Historically speaking, it was recorded that King Abdulaziz was able to regain Riyadh, the capital of the founders of Saudi Arabia, and he had to return with his family after recovery of Riyadh, and he continued this campaign for more than 30 years for the unification of his kingdom, On 23 September 1932 King Abdulaziz decided to unite all the regions of the Kingdom under the name of Saudi Arabia.
Based on this, Saudi National Day is an identity of the Kingdom and its history; it symbolizes the ideals and hopes held by the kingdom, and also honours the people who participated in the construction of the
Kingdom, and in particular the current leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In Nigeria, the occasion was celebrated with great pageant by the Deputy Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Makkah and Medina, to Nigeria, Mohammed al-Fawzan.
Declaring the occasion which started with National Anthem of Nigeria and that of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia open in Abuja, Mr. al-Fawzan started by thanking the audience for attending the event which he described as an epoch making one. He also thanked his staff members at the embassy for putting up the event in a very organized way.
His words, “It pleases me to welcome you all at the 87th National Anniversary of Saudi Arabia. Allow me to begin this speech with sincere gratitude to my fellow staff members in their effort in organizing this event. So, sincere thanks to them”.
Mr. al-Fawzan who exchanged greetings with dignitaries as well as discussed ways and manners of strengthening the mutual relationship between the two countries noted that Nigeria and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a lot in common which must be sustained for better cooperation.
Continuing, he said that Saudi Arabia will maintain cordial relationship with Nigeria, maintaining that the cordial relationship existing between his country and Nigeria would be strengthened in no small ways.
While expressing satisfaction with the cordial relationship existing between the two countries, saying it would be sustained, al-Fawzan informed that the government of Saudi Arabia would collaborate with Nigeria to enhance economic, social, political ties for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.
“The cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been very cordial for over four decades. There has been significant improvement in the long bilateral relation between the two countries.
”For instance, Saudi Arabia receives thousands of Nigerian pilgrims every year for both hajj and lesser hajj also known as Ummra. This year the kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted approximately 90, 000 Nigerian pilgrims.
“Similarly, thousands of Nigerian students obtain their degrees, master degrees and doctorate degrees from Saudi Arabian Universities.
“Moreover, the visit made by the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should reflect the strength of bilateral relations of not only the two governments, but also the two countries and their peoples, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
“It pleases me during this occasion to extend warm greetings from the government and people of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We also
congratulate the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as this year’s independence anniversary approaches. Once more, I thank you for gracing this occasion and wish you safe journey to your destinations after this occasion, thank you very much” Mr. al-Fawzan said.
Speaking also, the representative of the Federal Government at the occasion and Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika who thanked the embassy for inviting him for the occasion noted that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia relations dates back to antiquity when people go to Mecca on foot.
Sirika while soliciting for the support and cooperation of the Saudi Arabia in enhancing cultural, educational, economic activities in the nation, stated that Saudi Arabia receives thousands of Nigerians for hajj every year.
“I thank you for inviting me to this great occasion of your National Day. I congratulate you on behalf of the people of Nigeria. Nigeria shares diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which span decades.
“Saudi Arabia has a great number of Nigerians living in their country. Apart from commonalities they have, they are both oil producing nations and members of OPEC.
“Saudi Arabian relations with Nigeria started when they were going to hajj on foot. A lot of our people are currently living in Saudi Arabia with most of them not being in Nigeria for almost 70 years” he said.
Sirika said there is every need for us to look for more area of collaboration in the interest of the two countries for better cooperation.
Sirika who went down memory lane to place relations between the Banawas, Hausas and Fulanis with Saudi Arabia for centuries, said relations between both countries should continue to wax stronger, saying that we should continue to diversify and strengthen these relations for the mutual benefit of the two nations.
A similar event was also marked in Kano by the Saudi Consulate in Kano with five Governors in attendance. They include, Governors Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe, Dr. Ibrahim Ganduje of Kano, Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara states. They congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership for the celebrations.
The celebration was marked with the cutting of Independence by the trio of Ambassador al-Fawzan, Hadi Sirika and representative of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In Kano, cake to mark the day was jointly cut by the Vice Consul-General of the Saudi Consulate, Mr. Yousef Ibrahem Alghamdi and dignitaries, including Gaidam, Kano deputy governor, Prof. Hafeez, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and the deputy governor of Zamafara State, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala.

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