Wednesday, September 26, 2018 9:17 am
Military coups and counter-coups, civil war, political crisis among others are tests of the resolve of Nigerians to remain united, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo expressed this viewpoint in his address at the Photo Exhibition to mark the 2018 Independence Day Celebration at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Monday.
The theme of the exhibition is “the Footprints of Nigeria’s Political Leaders.’’
Osinbajo said that he was extremely pleased to join in the celebration of Nigeria’s independence through the medium of photo exhibition.
The vice president commended the Ministry of Information and Culture for the innovative way of celebrating Nigeria’s independence and its political history.
According to him, there are three reasons the historical excursion is important.
“The first is that it helps us to recognise the incredible leadership of our political leaders, from the colonial days till the moment.
“All of these incredible leaders – men and women who have shown such great wisdom and wit at various times; such dedication and courage at various times; this exhibition celebrates them.
“The second is that we are reminded of the twists and turns of our history; the colonial phase, the independence, the first republic, the political crisis, the coups and counter-coups, the civil war, the short restoration of civil rule and another military incursion and then civil rule since 1999.
“Each phase has tested our resolve to remain united, to maintain the integrity of the country known as Nigeria.
“Each phase has tested the commitment of our leaders to the Nigerian project; it has tested their ingenuity and their wisdom in navigating the frequently tortuous and turbulent waters of our national story,’’ he said.
He said that at every turn, the strength of the Nigerian resolve to build a nation and the valiant attempts of the leadership at state building was seen.
On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the exhibition, as a build up to Nigeria’s 58th Independence celebration, was a special day to all Nigerians.
Mohammed, who is the convener of the exhibition, said that it was a reflection of Nigeria’s unity, patriotism and commitment to nation building.
“There is no doubt that this day is special to every Nigerian; it is a day to reflect on our country; our unity, patriotism and commitment to nation building.
“Over the years the country has gone through trials; the first of October is a day for celebration and thanksgiving because it occupies a very important place in the political history of our country.
“It also serves as a reminder and appreciation of the labours of heroes past,’’ he said.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to FCT students who excelled in Mini-Photo Exhibition Competition held as part of the event.
Osinbajo commended the students, adding that represented the prosperous generation that Nigerians hoped for.
The prizes went to Master John Chinyere of Federal Government Boys College, Gudu; Miss Unique Shadow, Stella Maris College, Garki; and Vincent Davies of the Model Secondary School, Maitama.
Afterwards, the vice president went round the exhibition arena where pictures of colonial and post colonial leaders of Nigeria were showcased.
The exhibition attracted the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, representatives of the Ministers of Health and that of Labour and Employment as well as the diplomatic corps.