Ahead of Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary, the federal government has said no world leader had been invited to the celebration scheduled to hold on October 1.
According to the government, its decision was taken in line with its option for a low-key celebration.
This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume during a press conference in Abuja.
He said, “Low-keyed celebration has nothing to do with whether we’re not doing well. Economic times are hard, we are looking at it not just at the national level but also as a family. We have not invited world leaders. During the inauguration of the President 53 world leaders were invited, so we have not invited any world leader. The report of the investigator for CBN will soon be ready for the public.
“As you are aware, the President has given his approval for this 63rd anniversary to be low-key in line with the present economic realities. The theme of the anniversary is “Nigeria @ 63, Renewed Hope for Unity & Prosperity.”
Speaking on national interest, he said, “We have all agreed to live a united peaceful, united, prosperous country, despite our diversity. Without these, no nation can move forward. Government is making sure our national interest is not undermined.”
The former Benue governor said the celebration is particularly important at this time having witnessed an unbroken democratic record since 1999 as well as the seamless, successful, and peaceful presidential transition programme from one government to another.
“Despite political tremors and a wave of coups in some parts of the ECOWAS sub-region, Nigerians have fully embraced democracy with its core values and practices as the best form of governance. Democracy affords the citizens the opportunity through elective structures and processes to effectively participate in the affairs of their country.
“The relationship between the people and government in a representative democracy is symbiotic: while the citizens support the government, the government provides security, protects, and enhances their interests.
“The government is fully aware of the economic challenges that Nigerians are confronted with since the removal of the fuel subsidy as well as the impact of the global economic downturn. The government is working assiduously to provide the necessary palliatives so as to mitigate such challenges and also the provision of buses to ease hardship on transportation among others. At the same time, the government is engaging with labour in order to address areas of concern for the well-being of all Nigerian workers and Nigerians generally.
“It is for this reason that this government led by His Excellency, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is anchoring on the Renewed Hope Agenda which will improve food security; guarantee end to poverty; improve security; economic growth and job creation; access to capital; improve the playing field on which people and particularly companies operate; respect for the rule of law; and fight against corruption.
Among the programmes lined up for the event included an anniversary symposium/public Lecture, on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the State House Conference Center @ 10 a.m.; a lecture on Friday, September 29 2023 at the National Mosque Conference Center by 10 am and Juma’at Prayer at the National Mosque at 1 pm.
Akume also announced a presidential broadcast on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at 7 a.m.; an inter-denominational church service on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at the National Christian Center at 10:00 a.m. and a military parade on Monday, October 2 2023 at the Presidential Villa, at 9 am.
“I therefore call on you as media professionals and patriots to support this administration and build workable partnerships in order to transform our country into the land of our dream. Also, I count on you to publicise activities lined up to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary,” he said.