Nigeria’s Amalgamation Not A Mistake, Says Jonathan, Flags-off Centenary Celebration

February 05 06:06 2013 Print This Article

Nigerians are united

Goodluck Jonathan Monday night flagged off the centenary celebrations which would climaxed on January 1, 2014, declaring that Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914 was not a mistake.

Five former heads of State both in military and democratic dispensation joined President Jonathan at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa which climaxed with the lighting of the Centenary torch.

The five former heads of states and presidents present were  Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari and Abdulsalami Abubakar.

January 1, 2014, would mark a century the British colonial administration amalgamated the Southern and Northern Protectorates which make up the Nigerian nation.

The event which started at 8.30 pm. and ended about 11 pm. featured documentaries, folklores, performance by children among other side attraction.

The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, his Deputy Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, his Deputy, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and the chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar also attended the event.

State Governors, Ministers, Presidential aides, captains of Industry, members of Diplomatic Corps were present at the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion, the President  said that the amalgamation of 2014 was not a mistake but an act of God.

He said the amalgamation created a unique entity of the globe called Nigeria; a beautiful country richly blessed and which has turned out innovative people across the world.

The President said that beyond the endowed natural resources, Nigeria is blessed with unique collection of people specially created by God.

He noted that the one Nigeria consciousness has kept the nation together and must be safeguarded..

The President said that it was a uniquely act of God that the country had survived a civil war and several other daunting challenges.

“The unity of Nigeria is indivisible and non-negotiable, we must remain the forward looking people that we are.

“I see a united, powerful and prosperous nation that will make the generation yet unborn very proud.

“Arise, we shall and prosper we will,” he said.

The President, Buhari, a 120 years old  from Zungeru in Niger state who witnessed the 1914 amalgamation and two children, male and female representing the younger generation lite the centenary torch.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim pius Anyim said in line with the directive of the President, the celebration would involve all Nigerians and its sponsorship would be wholly private sector driven.

He said he was amazed at the response of Nigeria to support the celebration and make it strong, colourful and fascinating.

Anyim said the centenary celebration would be used to replace pessimism with optimism to make the country rise above its challenges

He further disclosed that the celebration would generate over 15,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Gowon described Nigeria as “a unique nation, a nation of diverse, strong and hard working people”.

He noted that not many nation could survive 100 years of cohesiveness in-spite of the diverse nature of the nation and several challenges Nigeria has faced.

Unveiling the centenary logo,
He declared: “May the Emblem symbolises a rallying point for the unity of the nation.

“May it be a reminder of our, entity, unity and oneness of the nation which in not negotiable and serve as a symbol of peace, unity and prosperity”.

Obasanjo recalled his 2003 national broadcast where he asked “If you cannot love Nigeria and be positive about it and make contributions to its progress, then I should ask you what sort of Nigerian are you?”

He tasked every Nigerian that after 100 years of staying together, to remain focus in the quest for making Nigeria a “humane, just and progressive” nation. 

Obasanjo after the remarks presented the centenary theme: “one Nigeria, Great Promise”.

Speaking in same vein, Abubakar said Nigeria is in the league of countries like, india, China, Egypt, Ethiopia and Amenia for surviving 100 years and more of co-existence inspite of daunting challenges.

He said the nation should use the opportunity of the centenary celebrations to lay the foundation of a new nation.

“There is every reason to celebrate in songs and dances.

“One nation, indivisible Nigeria has come to stay,” he said.

Abubakar thereafter,  presented a centenary theme song titled: “This Land, Celebrating one hundred years of Nigeria” which was subsequently performed by a theme of notable Nigerian musicians led by Onyeka Onwenu.

Speaker, Tambuwal launched the centenary web portal, while the Senate President launched the centenary lottery.

The lottery saw a State House correspondent for Peoples Daily Newspaper, Abdurahaman Abdulraheem won an I-pad while another female guest won a I-phone.

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