Low-key Independence Day celebration…!
The economic downturn across the country might have contributed to the low-key celebration of the 2016 Independence Day anniversary.The event was not greeted with the usual pomp and pageantry, it was known for both federal and state levels.
In Akwa Ibom State, The Guardian lernt that the celebration was low profile.A civil servant in the state revealed that the government did not plan for the event due to the poor state of the economy.
Also, Oyo State government publicly through the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun declared it had no plans to engage in any celebration as the condition in the country called for sober reflection.
Delta State Government, which is grappling to pay workers’ salaries; could not declare any bogus celebration at the 56th Anniversary of Nigeria.The Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, is said to be looking for money to develop the state and deliver on the mandate that produced him in 2015 amid the current economic crunch.
Benue State governor, Samuel Otom had made a declaration that this year’s independence anniversary event would be low-key as he was said to have cited paucity of funds accruing in the state as the major obstacle to celebrating the yearly event.
In Niger State, the government said it would have a low-key celebration and as such had earmarked the sum of thirty million naira (N30million) for the Independence Day celebration. State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, said that out of the money, ten million naira (N10, 000,000) had been set aside for the purchase of foodstuffs that would be distributed orphanages and old peoples’ homes, prisons and to the physically challenged.
Lagos State, however, added a little funfair to the celebration with a parade hosted by the police and other agencies in honour of Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambod.
The governor at the parade event on Saturday said there was no better time for Nigerians to unite to rescue the nation’s economy from the stranglehold of recession. Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Independence Day parade held at the Police College Ground in Ikeja, said the fact that the nation had remained united despite visible challenges in the last 56 years of sovereignty was a lot to be thankful for.
He said the ‘never say die spirit’ of resilience, resourcefulness and determination that Nigerians display to succeed in all spheres of human endeavour was well recognized and acknowledged all over the globe, saying that the nation has great potentials to rank among the most prosperous countries in the world.
The Governor who was represented at the parade by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, said, “I wish to use this opportunity to make a passionate appeal, more than ever before, that we must renew our belief in the Nigeria Project and play our parts diligently. At this trying and challenging time, we must aggregate our strength and be united in focus to rescue our economy from the stranglehold of recession. “We all need one another to survive as no part of Nigeria can do it all alone and still wield or command the kind of influence that Nigeria currently enjoys in the comity of Nations. This is not a time to despair. It is a time to review our patriotic zeal and stand firm with our leaders at all levels in our collective efforts to make Nigeria work for all.”