Independence celebration holds at Aso Rock fourth time in a row

Nigerian Army

The 54th Independence Day celebration held at Aso Rock for the fourth time in a row since the ghastly 2010 celebration which held at what use to be the usual venue of celebration- Eagle Square.

President Goodluck Jonathan, joined by former Heads of State, leadership of the National Assembly, the judiciary and top government officials, on Wednesday, shelved pageantry and held a brief ceremony to mark Nigeria’s 54th Independence at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa.

The celebration was marked with the customary Change of Guards parade, conducted by the Presidential Guards Brigade — the 177 Battalion based in Keffi.

The event featured the inspection of new guard/quarter guard, silent drill, posting of sentries/colour patrol and echelon reporting of parade amongst others.
The presidential change of guards also involved foot and arms drill,  rhythmic and calculated steps and checking of weapons to ensure rounds of arms were not left in them.

Before the October 1 2010 bomb blast, which claimed at least 20 lives, the Eagle Square was the usual host for a customary grand ceremony.

But with terrorism plaguing the nation especially the northern region, the ceremony quickly ended with the President signing the Independence anniversary register and releasing pigeons to signify peace.

The President was accompanied by Senate President, David Mark, Service Chiefs, Acting Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, and other dignitaries.

The  former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan; former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Emeka Ihediora; former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya attended the event.

Mr. Gowon, who spoke with journalists, said Nigerians must work to make the country great.

“I believe in Nigeria, I love Nigeria and we all must work for Nigeria, the government and the opposition in order to make Nigeria great. That is my wish. Nigeria will survive beyond 2015,” Mr.Gowon said.


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  • Wähala

    Cowards die many times…
    A clown who floated on heicopter at the bust of balloons in a fake prison jailbreak, who cannot walk around the Villa garden due to fear of terrorism… promising to defeat Boko Haram by the end of this month. No wonder he crawled under the bed at the sound of Turai’s footsteps during her cabal reign… what’re they celebrating if they’re so scared of even their won shadows, much less protect Nigerians who are dying like flies? Ogogoro leadership of fossils Shonekan and Gowon, where were the rest of the goons who are responsible for Nigeria’s present predicament? If Baba Iyabo is now a student, IBB ati Abu Salam nko? Clowns!

  • B. B. B. Messi

    We know the security situation in that country. No need exposing yourself and others as easy prey for people who derive pleasure in killing others.
    Too bad if the security agencies cannot guarantee the safety of Naijas @ the eagle square. A shame..but better to err on the side of safety. Better safe than sorry..period!
    *why was Tambuwal not there? Is he running a parallel guvrnmnt or wot?? This is not good. No matter what anyone says, this is unbecoming of the No-4 citizen. This is unbecoming of him. No way…this is not good!

    • Otile

      Alhaji Tambuwal is a newly turbaned Fulani man. You don’t expect him to be measuring prick with infidels at the parade. See the people there: Col Arne Gowon, Earnest Shonekan, Weeping General Oladipo Diya, Dauda Mak, etc. The only Muslim man there is Acting Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, not that he likes to be there, but he has to. For Suleiman Abba standing there is like holding his nose while hugging the pig.

  • Chiotu Nnamdi

    What is important is the inherent lesson and significance of the day.The venue remains immaterial.

  • Otile

    Col Gowon said he loves Nigeria, yet he is hiding his children in Great Britain. Is he telling the whole truth?

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  • tsunami1earthquake

    Sometimes people say it is better to remain poor but free! Will the President not sometimes envy that poor man on the street who walks freely, visits any kind of buka to eat ’roundabout laced in “ewedu”‘ and adorned with a plate of ‘amala’? Will the President not sometimes envy that poor man who could visit Obalende at any time of day and ingratiate his appetite with some steaming ‘suya’ decorated with mouthwatering ‘yaji’? Will the President not envy that poor man who could barge into any of the ‘burukutu’ bars along Langtang Street in Jos or Gada Biu in the same Jos, where he could quench his bibulous appetite with a calabash of milky-white ‘burukutu’ and down it with a plate of ‘gwote’? Will the President not feel a stab of envy when he beholds that poor but free man sitting on one of the makeshift drinking bars roofed over by dry palm leaves and enjoying a palatable ‘isi-ewu’ or ‘nkwobi’ and downing it with bottles of lukewarm ‘odeku’? The President might argue that his chef and stewards (especially those who have just received the National Awards) could procure such dishes, delicacies and drinks. However, Mr. President, you will agree with me that none of these could taste half as delicious as those prepared by those nimble-handed grandmas who sit on low benches everyday round smoky fires, stoking the fires under charcoal blackened cooking pots where these foods and delicacies are prepared! Mr. President, you will agree with me that the smoke that issues from those fires are catalysts that set the waves of inspiration in these women’s brains to make them improve daily on their products. You don’t find such smoke and burning wood in Aso Rock kitchen!

    Mr. President, the decision forced on you to continue to celebrate Nigeria’s Independence like a rat trapped in a rat hole is surely not the best; it speaks a lot that all is not well with Nigeria. So your assertion and claim that you have made progress on all fronts is only everything but reality. You cannot make progress on all fronts when you continue celebrating Nigeria’s Independence under a large mango tree providing shade on the Aso Rock grounds. That cuts a picture of a local chieftain carousing with his subjects of same rural extraction. On the other hand, it cuts a picture of an undertaker supervising a tense and terse funeral gathering. Google the Internet to see how your predecessors had celebrated Nigeria’s Independence anniversary and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Google the Internet and see how the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, ATB, was feted on his visit to the White House; and that was just a year or two after Nigeria’s Independence. Take a look at that and you will have a self-introspection on how the White House of today views our recent Nigerian leaders! Compare those with the one given to ATB in the early 1960s and you will be stunned by a stab of envy! And why is that difference? Simple! You have not performed and so most members of the world community thumb their noses at you. And your non-performance makes the heart to bleed when it is realized that the visible consequences occur in the midst of plenty; the visible consequences occur when Nigeria makes a lot of money that many advanced nations envy at! What we see is similar to what an untrained motor mechanic does on a motorcar engine; like this motor mechanic, you and your cabinet just throw the spanners and screwdrivers on any part of the engine, resulting in grounding the engine even the more. Nigeria was to export electric power to Ghana; now Ghana has turned around to export electric power to Nigeria! Is that not the greatest shame of the century?

    No need coming here to tell us that you have made progress on all fronts. You cannot be a student and at the same time be your own assessor. You cannot set an examination for yourself and turn round to mark your scripts and award marks to yourself. That is funny, isn’t it, Mr President.

  • Mentor

    As usual, rubbish write up in support of crony capitalism. Unfettered market mechanisms have simply led to stagflation, high misery index, high inequality, sales of public assets to cronies at depressed prices, and siphoning of foreign exchange by looters! Some wonder why this writer is allowed to serenade PT column with issues he has little knowledge of. Just another sensational journalism!

  • Tiiye

    Who is J P Morgan? Is he not an agent of the Beast of globalisation?

  • Pause

    “The sad part of this is the difficulty in understanding why the Buhari administration, despite being privy to the many alleged malfeasances of its predecessors, is still minded to have the state in control of everything.”

    After reading the above excerpt which for me shows that the writer is “throwing mud” like APC supporters without evidences, I would keep my comments to what was generally a good piece and allow the writer to enjoy “mud throwing” with his fellow non evidence cohorts such as the first two comments.

    As they say in Igbo land, he who fetched ant-infested firewoods invariably invited lizards for a feast.

    • Pause

      Okay, I thought that the writer initially meant immediate past admin. I now realized that the writer meant “predecessors,”including all past admins.; then I am with him. Good job, writer. Unfortunately, brainless Buhari has no clues on what his TERRIBLE BODY LANGUAGE(to appease his semi-literate supporters) IS DOING TO NIGERIAN ECONOMY!!! Even if brainless Buhari changes to stop EMBARRASSING NIGERIANS with his stupidity it would take 2, 3 or more years to get Nigeria back to the INDEX. That means more poverty in the NORTH, not less. Msssshhh

  • Republican in VI

    No matter how you phrase it, we do not need this at this point. On thursday the United States federal reserve is most likely going to hike interest rates, this will shift foreign investments further from emerging markets to the United States. With the added divestment from the bonds due to the exit from the index, there is going to be pressure from these two points on the Naira. All in all we would have been a lot better off if the last administration did the needful and saved as it is now the country is collectively screwed.