Buhari, Osinbajo, others witness colourful 55th Independence Anniversary

The Federal Government on
Thursday in Abuja held a low key celebration to mark
the nation’s 55th independence anniversary.
The event, which was held at the fore-court of the
Presidential Villa, Abuja, witnessed a special
Presidential change of guard to mark the event, which
lasted for about two hours.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation
(SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, had earlier indicated that
the 2015’s anniversary would be low keyed, due to the
state of the country’s finances.
The SGF, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary,
Political Matters office, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said
Buhari had made it “a policy that it will be unfair to
spend so much in celebrating at the expense of
ordinary Nigerians who are grappling with poverty’’.
The event started with the arrival of President
Muhammadu Buhari, who appeared in white traditional
attires of Babban Riga with a white cap to match.
The president inspected the quarter guards before
marching to the Presidential Villa forecourt to receive
national salute which was followed by rendition of the
National Anthem.
The Prayers were offered by the Roman Catholic
Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, and
the Deputy Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque,
Sheikh Muhammad Kabir.
The event witnessed the inspection of new Guard/
Quarter guard, silent drills, posting of sentries and
colour, weapons and uniforms were inspected to
ensure conformity with military standards by the
Commander, Brigade of Guards, Brig.-Gen. Musa
Yusuf.
Shortly after the ceremony, Buhari signed the
anniversary register and released pigeons from cage.
The president, assisted by Vice-President Yemi
Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker,
House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief
Justice of the Federation, Justice Mahmud
Mohammed, and some top dignitaries, cut the
anniversary cake.
Among those who attended the ceremony were former
Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former interim
president Ernest Shonekan, APC National Chairman,
Chief John Ayegun and former Senate President Ken
Nnamani.
Others were the Service Chiefs, current and former
Inspectors-General of Police, former vice-president Alex
Ekwueme, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, former Senate
President Joseph Wayas, top government functionaries
and members of the diplomatic corps. (NAN)

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