—Jonathan and other dignitaries join President at Eagle Square
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday led some dignitaries including former President Goodluck Jonathan to celebrate Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day Anniversary.
Also present were members of the diplomatic community, who witnessed the ceremony, characterized by a colourful military parade.
Also in attendance were the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari; wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Service Chiefs, among others.
On arrival, President Buhari was received by the Commander of the elite Guards Brigade, Brig Gen Mohammed Takuti Usman. Thereafter, he proceeded to inspect the parade, which is expected to be his last in eight years since he assumed office in May 2015.
The parade formation was a combined guard of honour mounted by the officers and men of the Guards Brigade complemented by a detachment, each, drawn from the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Air force, as well as the Nigeria Police respectively.
Also on the parade were paramilitary officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Immigration, Federal Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Nigeria Legion.
Major highlights of the colourful event were a slow and quick march past by personnel of the various services including students of the Nigeria Military School (NMS), Zaria, an aerial display by the Nigeria Air Force fighter aircraft, traditional dances by various troupes depicting the cultural diversity of the Nigerian people from north and south.
President Buhari had in his last Independence Day broadcast to citizens earlier on Saturday, promised to leave a legacy of free and fair elections as Nigerians go to the polls next year to elect another set of political office holders for four years.
The President used the occasion to urge the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to suspend the over seven months strike while negotiations on the concerns they raised would be addressed based on the available resources.