President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday presided over Nigeria’s 61st Independence Celebration with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, in attendance.
Newsmen report that former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko, cabinet ministers and other personalities also attended the colourful event.
Newsmen also report that the event witnessed by service and security chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps at the Eagle Square, Abuja, was held strictly in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
Buhari arrived at the parade ground at about 10.00 a.m. in white traditional attire with a mixed blue and white cap to match.
The president inspected the quarter guards before moving to the State Box to receive the national salute.
The national salute was followed by a rendition of the National Anthem while the Independence Parade was performed by the Armed Forces and para-military agencies.
The armed forces parade was led by Lt. Col. Salim Hassan.
Newsmen observed that the event also witnessed colours’ patrol by the armed forces while the Guards Brigade put up a special performance of parade to the admiration of the audience.
Newsmen reports that guests and members of the public were thrilled with contemporary acrobatic displays by cultural troupes from the six geo-political zones, representing various ethnic groups in the country.
Newsmen also observed that the 61st anniversary did not witness fly-past displays by the Nigerian Air Force as done during the 60th anniversary in 2020.
However, the traditional 21 artillery gun salute took place at the venue, while the president, accompanied by former Nigerian leaders, signed the 61st Independence Anniversary Register before departing the Eagle Square at about 12.30 p.m.