The Federal Government said yesterday that it was celebrating the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary because the nation has remained one, in spite of many odds it had contended with.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this at a briefing in Abuja, listed the odds to include the Civil War of 1967 to 1970, ethno-religious crises and the current security challenges.
He said: “Some may wonder why Nigeria needs to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee at all, considering the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing the country. “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 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.” Mohammed, who was accompanied to the briefing by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, as well as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is building a new Nigeria and working towards its industrialization.
“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 infrastructure in the areas of power, roads, bridges, rail 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,’’ he said. According to Mohammed, a National Ethics and Integrity Policy will be launched on Monday, while an Integrity Award to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, will be launched by President Buhari.
He added that a public lecture would be held at the National Mosque Conference Hall, Abuja, on September 25, 2020, in addition to Special Jumat Prayers at the Mosque on the same day.
He said an Inter-denominational church service would be held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on September 27, 2020.