From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, joined other Nigerians to celebrate the nation’s 62nd independence anniversary in Abuja.
The event which held at the Eagle Square, also had in attendance, former President Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Nnamadi Sambo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, All Progressives Congress National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Members of the Federal Executive Council, the Service Chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps, were also among dignitaries at the independence anniversary.
The ceremony witnessed the inspection of guards by President Buhari; military, police, paramilitary organisations and agencies match past and cultural display.
There were also pace stick drill display/paratroopers by the Guards Brigade and Paratroopers; silent drills by Nigerian Military School (NMS) boys, air display by the Nigerian Air Force, among other side attractions.
Speaking with Sunday Sun, United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said it was wonderful to be at the venue for the celebration of Nigeria at 62.
Leonard also said there is really a monumental and important and hopeful year ahead of the country.
“As this country shows, is the region. As it goes to election, it is about respecting limits and commitments to interfering transparent elections.
“It is a very exciting time and the United States only wishes Nigeria well,” Leonard said.
Also speaking with Sunday Sun, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, expressed delight in participating at the colourful ceremony.
“Congratulations! It is wonderful to say Nigeria is 62 years old from independence, the first three years of which were with our Queen, our previous Queen as Head of State.
“So, monumental achievements and looking forward to engaging ahead with the elections,” Laing said.
Reacting to the celebration, the Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, said there is nothing to celebrate at 62.
Adeyanju, in a statement made available to Sunday Sun, said: “At 62yrs, the naira note which is our legal tender is one of the most worthless in the world. One dollar is N740, while the Ghanaian currency is 10 cedi to the US dollar. There’s absolutely nothing to celebrate here because the country is not working.”
Adeyanju also said sadly, the country was doing much better under foreign colonial masters.
“The new colonial masters of Nigeria, the political class, are only interested in looting and destroying the educational, health and other sectors, while sending their kids abroad to school and go to the best hospitals abroad.
“The irony of our present reality is that candidate of the ruling party is currently rumoured to be abroad receiving medical treatment in the middle of presidential campaigns.
“Welcome to Nigeria where citizens who were protesting against police brutality this time last year were treated with more brutality. How can we celebrate when ASUU has been on strike for over seven months?” Adeyanju queried.