Independence Day: Buhari, Saraki Meet In Aso Rock | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Independence Day: Buhari, Saraki Meet In Aso Rock

Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday October 1, 2015 led former Heads of State, the leadership of the National Assembly, the judiciary, other senior government officials and diplomats to celebrate Nigeria’s 55th independence anniversary in Abuja.

The President was dressed in white babanriga and cap while Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo was similarly clad in white agbada, but with green cap to match the nation’s colours.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Dogara, were accompanied by some principal offers of the National Assembly, and arrived shortly before the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed.

The one-and-half-hour event held at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, decorated in green and white colours and featured the ceremonial Presidential Change of Guards Parade, a military affair.

The parade was mounted by officers and men of the 177 Battalion and 7 Battalion of the Presidential Guards Brigade, Abuja.

Other features of the colourful event included inspection of new guard/quarter guard; silent drill; posting of sentries; colour/flags patrol; 21-gun salute and echelon reporting of parade, among others.

There were also foot and arms drill, rhythmic march steps, and inspection by parade commander of the soldiers’ weapons to ensure they were battle ready.?

At the end of the parade, Buhari signed the independence anniversary register and released white pigeons to signify peace.

He was accompanied to this by a few of the dignitaries, including the Service Chiefs; Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase; and the former leaders.

Among other dignitaries at the event were former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), and erstwhile Head of the defunct Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.?

Former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, and former Chiefs of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya (rtd); and former Senate President, Joseph Wayas, attended the ceremony.

There were also National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun; APC governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe; former IGP, Tafa Balogun; and members of the diplomatic corps.

Buhari, Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara and Mohammed shared light refreshments after the ceremony before proceeding to the President’s office for small talks before they all departed.

In a brief chat with journalists afterwards, ?Saraki spoke of Nigeria after 55 years of independence, saying “I am hopeful and confident that the future is very bright. In next few years, things will be even better.

“It will not be business as usual. We will ensure that the National Assembly will be people-oriented and will make laws that will make impact on Nigerians.”
On his part, the CJN simply said “We will make it by the grace of God. We are on the right path.”

In his remarks, Oyegun  ?said “at 55, we have finally discovered that we have been on the wrong road.

“We have finally moved to the road that leads to progress, hope, employment, prosperity and that will lead to Nigeria, finally attaining that greatness that God destined it for. We are on the way.”