How Gowon, Jonathan celebrated Nigeria’s 60th anniversary with Buhari

By Valentine Amanze

The immediate past president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; and the ex-Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, were among Nigerian leaders who identified with President Muhammadu Buhari at Abuja as Nigeria celebrated its 60th anniversary as an independent nation on Thursday.

Jonathan’s wife, Patience, accompanied her husband at the event that was also attended by Aisha Buhari, the wife of the president, at the Eagle Square.

While other past leaders, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, and Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, were absent at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led other top dignitaries, which include, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad.

However, President Buhari arrived at the venue at about 10am and was ushered to the soapbox to review a mounted parade. He was thereafter escorted to inspect the guards in a parade in an open van.

The parade comprises members of the Armed Forces – the Army, Air Force, and Navy – as well as para-military forces.

The event was spiced with traditional dances and other performances by a combined military and civilian artistes.

The high point of the ceremony was the Nigerian Air Force display, which was scaled down because of inclement weather.

There was flypast by two Agusta helicopters, both actively involved in combat operations. One of them bore the banner of the theme of the celebration – ‘60 Together’.

The helicopters were followed in echelon by three Alpha jets used for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations such as during ECOMOG, Northern Mali and Niger Delta militant operations.

The event was closed with the signing of the anniversary register by the President, who was accompanied by his wife, Aisha; Osinbajo, Jonathan, Gowon; Lawan; Gbajabiamila, the CJN, among others.

News Category: