Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The week-long ‘elaborate’ activities to mark the 58th Independence anniversary of Nigeria ended, in Abuja, on Monday, with the display of military strength and skills.
The display kept President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior government officials, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, entertained for several hours that the programme lasted.
The last time Nigeria had such an open Independence Day event was in 2010, which was disrupted midway by bomb explosions alleged to have been masterminded by Henry Okah.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were among those that were conspicuously absent at the event.
However, there were parades by military and paramilitary agencies, followed by display of military and police equipment most of which the officials claimed were procured in the last three years of Buhari administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari, could not make a speech, but he stood for almost an hour taking salute from the military parade and acknowledging cheers from his supporters.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, told journalists after the event, that he was extremely happy that Nigeria is back on the track of socio-economic progress, with a reinvigorated military strength.
According to Osinbajo, “What happened here today (Monday) was the display of military strength and competence.
“It was a indication that Nigeria has regained its lost glory, and appreciation must go to the President for his support and leadership.”
Both Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, told journalists that Nigerian military has been re-equipped and repositioned to withstand any security confrontation.
They, however, renewed their hope in the ability of the Nigerian military to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria, maintain internal security and decisively deal with people who might choose to take up arms against the state, for whatever reason.