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Nigeria at 63: FG plans low-key independence anniversary

By Oluyemi Ogunseyin
25 September 2023   |   3:05 pm
The Federal Government (FG) on Monday revealed plans to mark Nigeria's 63rd independence anniversary, which is scheduled for October 1, 2023, in a low-key way.

Nigerian flag

The Federal Government (FG) on Monday revealed plans to mark Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary, which is scheduled for October 1, 2023, in a low-key way.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, said this during a press conference in Abuja, with the FG also not inviting any world leaders.

Akume further told journalists that the decision not to invite any world leaders for the 63rd independence anniversary was taken in line with the government’s option for a low-key celebration.

“Low-key celebration has nothing to do with whether we are not doing well. Economic times are hard; we are looking at it not just at the national level but also as a family,” he said.

“We have not invited world leaders. During the inauguration of the president, 53 world leaders were invited, so we have not invited any world leaders. 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.”

Akume, while speaking on national interest, said Nigerians have all agreed to live in a peaceful, united, prosperous country despite our diversity.

He added that without all these, no nation can move forward and that the federal government is making sure that our national interests is not undermined.

According to the SGF, the 63rd independence anniversary 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,” Akume stated.

“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 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.”

He said that 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,” Akumi said.

Among the programmes lined up for the event include anniversary symposium/public Lecture, on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at State house Conference Center @ 10 am; lecture on Friday September 29 2023 at the National Mosque Conference Center by 10 am and Juma’at Prayer at the National Mosque at 1pm.

Akume also announced that there would be a presidential broadcast on Sunday, October 1 at 7am; inter-denominational church service at the National Christian Center at 10:00 am and a military parade on Monday, October 2 at the Presidential Villa, at 9 a.m.