Statement by President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, on Sunday confirmed the low-key celebration planned by the federal government in marking this year’s Independence Day. The statement gives the outlines of the anniversary which will commence at 7am with a presidential broadcast.
The presidential spokesman’s statement reads: “As part of the activities marking Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Anniversary, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will address the nation on Monday, October 1, 2012… The broadcast will be aired at 7 am. All television stations are advised to hook up to the Nigerian Television Authority for clean feed, while radio stations should hook up to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.”
Apparently there will not be any form of elaborate celebration during this year’s Independence Anniversary as all the activities of the president will be within the Presidential Villa. The statement continues: “The President will also watch a ceremonial Change of Guards by the Nigerian Army Brigade of Guards, at the State House, Abuja. This ceremony will be witnessed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Chief Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, and former heads of state, members of the diplomatic corps, political leaders, other government officials and dignitaries… The event will be transmitted live, from 10am on the NTA and FRCN networks and other broadcast stations across the country.”
The reason for the low-key celebration is not farfetched; apart from the fact that there have been consistent bombings in various parts of the country – even up till the eve of the Independence Anniversary (in Zaria, Kaduna) – the last attempt at an elaborate celebration, at the Eagle Square in Abuja, had witnessed bombings. As a result, the country will not be witnessing any elaborate Independence Anniversary celebration until 2014.