Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has explained that the Nigerian government will celebrate the 60th Independence Day anniversary for on year.
He explained that although the main events will be held low key, the staggered celebration is expected to last up until 21 September 2021.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Mohammed said that the theme for the 60th Independence is ‘Together’.
“Today’s press conference is to announce the activities lined up for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. Of course, you are aware that Mr. President has already kick-started the celebration by launching the logo and the theme for the anniversary celebration.
“The theme is ‘Together’, which is aimed at keeping us united and helping us to forge ahead, while the logo is already in the public domain.
He added that, “Please permit me to quote Mr. President’s explanation of the logo: ”The neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.
“In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land. All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.”
“The 60th independence anniversary celebration will be low-key, as Mr. President has already announced. Of course, this is not unconnected with the Covid-19 global pandemic, which has forced some safety protocols on nations around the world. Therefore, the pomp and pageantry that should have marked the celebration will be largely missing.
“Before I announce the activities that have been lined-up for the Diamond Jubilee, let me say here that the 60th anniversary celebration will be celebrated for a whole year, ending September 30th 2021.
“Therefore, there are some activities that may come up after the ones to be announced today. This does not mean there will be daily activities between now and Sept. 30th 2021, but that there will be staggered events during that period. We will ensure to keep you posted.
He then went on to list the activities slated to start this week and extend till next week.
Nigeria Independence activities
“Public Lecture, Date: Friday September 25th 2020, Venue: National Mosque Conference Hall, Abuja National Mosque, Time: 10.00am.”
“Special Jumat Prayers, Date: Friday September 25th 2020, Venue: National Mosque, Abuja, Time: 1pm.”
“Inter-denominational Church Service, Date: Sunday, September 27th 2020, Venue: National Christian Centre, Abuja, Time: 3pm. NOTE: Members of the public can join the church service virtually by logging on to the Youtube Channel of the OSGF at OFFICIALOSGFNG.”
“Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy as well as Integrity Award by Mr. President to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ICPC, Date: Monday September 28th 2020, Venue: State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Time: 10.00am.”
“Historical Exhibition, Date: Monday, September 28th 2020, Venue: National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja, Time: 3pm.”
“Presidential Broadcast, Date: Thursday, October 1st 2020, Venue: From the Eagle Square.”
“Guard of Honour/Anniversary Parade, Date: Thursday, October 1st 2020, Venue: Eagle Square, Abuja, Time: 10am.”
He added that, “Please note that these events are strictly by invitation, and that all COVID-19 protocols will be observed at the various venues.
He explained that the media will have free access to the events that are open, like the Jumat and church services. Of course, the events slated for the Presidential Villa will be covered by the accredited State House media.
“Now, some may wonder why Nigeria needs to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee at all, considering the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing the country. And our answer to that is contained in our theme of ‘Together’.
“For a country that has gone through a bitter, internecine civil war, years of political crisis, daunting security challenges, including religious and ethnic crisis, etc, our unity and our resilience (which by the way is what diamond represents) are worth celebrating.
“Also, in certain cultures, the age of 60 is seen as the beginning of a new cycle of life, and is usually well marked. For Nigeria as a country, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari offers a new beginning.
“The administration is working assiduously to build a new Nigeria, laying the building blocks for industrial and technological development by building massive infrastructures in the areas of power, roads, bridges, rail etc. and by developing human capital.
“The administration is also fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and diversifying the economy by leveraging ICT, creative industry, agriculture and mining, among others.
“And so, I say, let the celebrations begin, and this is wishing all Nigerians a happy 60th independence anniversary,” he said.