From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerians from all social classes to the Eagle Square in Abuja on Saturday to commemorate the country’s 62nd Independence Day.
Many dignitaries attended the event, which included military drills and artistic performances, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others were the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan; ministers; the service chiefs and other heads of security and intelligence agencies; members of the National Assembly; and members of the diplomatic corps.
The National Anthem was played shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at Eagle Square and inspected the parade guards before proceeding to the VIP box to observe the parade processions.
The parades and march pass by the nation’s military forces, some paramilitary outfits, cadets of the Nigeria Military School (NMS), members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and others were among the major highlights of the celebration at Eagle Square.
The Nigerian Air Force also performed a couple of flying displays with some of the aircrafts recently acquired for various anti-terrorism operations, as well as minutes of cultural displays by the cultural troupe.
The ceremony concluded with President Buhari signing the anniversary register, three hearty cheers from the parade, and the firing of 21 artillery volleys for the national salute, the National Anthem, and the parade’s march off.
Meanwhile, tight security measures were put in place in and around Abuja’s Eagle Square to ensure a smooth ceremony.
All roads linking the Federal Secretariat Complex were cordoned off by security personnel.
President Buhari had earlier addressed Nigerians on the occasion of the Independence anniversary where he said he shared in the pains Nigerians were going through while commending their resilience in the face of challenges.
He also said his administration has succeeded in gradually eradicating corruption.
Buhari had also commended Nigerians for giving him the opportunity to lead the country both in 2015 and 2019, adding that he had delivered on most of the promises he made to the people in the last seven years.
He had also reiterated his commitment to a free, fair and credible elections come 2023.