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Nigeria @ 51: No celebration held in Aso Rock – Jonathan

By Daniel Idonor

ABUJA- PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, distanced the presidency from insinuations by the opposition that Nigeria 51st independence anniversary was celebrated in Aso Rock, office of the President, due to insecurity. He said no such celebration ever held in the Presidential Villa.

Speaking in Kigali, Rwanda, President Jonathan explained that contrary to the impression in some quarters that Nigeria marked the independence celebration with a parade in the Presidential Villa for security reasons, there was no such parade.

A statement from Presidential Spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, from Rwanda, said the President spoke while fielding questions from newsmen during a joint press confe-rence with his Rwandan host, President Paul Kagame, to mark the end of his two-day official visit.

According to the statement, President Jonathan said what actually took place was the ceremonial weekly change of guards at the Villa because a decision had earlier been taken by the Federal Government to observe a low-key independence anniversary.

He said: “The decision to observe a low-key anniversary was not necessarily to conserve funds but because we cannot celebrate every year. It is a wrong notion that we celebrated in the State House. We had a low-key anniversary.

“No country celebrates National Day every year and invites foreign leaders.”


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