The Federal Government last night flagged off activities marking Nigeria’s centenary, insisting that the events were being bankrolled by private sector players and not government.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim, who spoke at a ceremony in Abuja, said government came up with innovative ways of sourcing private funding for the events, which are meant to celebrate the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in January 1914.
Anyim said the celebrations would usher in a new phase in the country’s psyche which will see pessimism replaced with optimism.
Also speaking, President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated a bright future for Nigeria despite the challenges. He said what makes the country great is not its resources but the diversity of its people.
Present at the ceremony were former leaders Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari and Abdulsalami Abubakar.
While Gowon unveiled the centenary logo which was designed by Abubakar Ahmadu Abdullahi, Obasanjo delivered the theme of the centenary “One Nigeria, Great Promise”.
According to Obasanjo, for Nigeria to overcome its challenges in order to achieve its potentials, it must remain an indivisible entity. “Without a doubt, only one Nigeria can guarantee the promise of a great future for us all. Yes, there are challenges. I believe that for almost 170 million people working together in truth, commitment and determination, we can restore trust in good governance and build a progressive nation. Together, and with unity as our beacon, we can forge all our peoples into a nation of great promise and a great future,” he said.
Also present at the ceremony was Senate President David Mark who unveiled the centenary logo which will run till June while the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal unveiled the centenary portal.