As Nigeria prepares to celebrate its 60th independence anniversary, President Muhammadu Buhari has given credit to the creative intelligence of the people of Nigeria, declaring that the country’s greatest asset today is the people.
Also ahead of the anniversary, Buhari on Wednesday unveiled a logo to commemorate the diamond celebrations.
Buhari said Nigeria remained the “most prosperous Black nation” on planet earth.
Nigeria, which gained its independence from the British colonial masters in 1960, will turn 60 on October 1.
The logo, which carried the message, “60 Together”, was unveiled shortly before the start of the weekly virtual Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; and several ministers witnessed the ceremonies.
Speaking while performin the unveiling, Buhari noted that 60 years was an anniversary the country would have celebrated lavishly, but for the challenges created by the raging COVID -19 pandemic.
He said, ”Today, we stand on the threshold of history as we formally begin a series of activities commemorating Nigeria’s Diamond Anniversary.
”The task history has saddled me with today is to proclaim a theme that will keep us united, help us forge ahead and unveil a logo that will form the critical pillars which our 11-month modest commemorative activities would rest on.
”Celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp, but the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also foisted on us the imperative of a low-keyed celebration.
”Operating within the limitations placed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created an internet challenge for Nigerians to make a choice from a set of four pre-selected logos that would appropriately define the theme.
”Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I am happy to let you know that the logo I would be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people.”
Buhari also spoke on the design of the logo and how it was eventually selected.
He stated, ”The selected option depicts our togetherness, a country of over 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND we are.
”This, to me, is a special appreciation to our most precious asset – our people. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, innovation, music, movie, entertainment, fashion and culture.
”Furthermore, the neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolises our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.
‘‘In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land.
‘‘All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.’’
The President also said the theme of the anniversary, ‘Together’, was chosen because the founding fathers of Nigeria built it on the foundation of unity in diversity.
He added, ‘‘This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past.”
Speaking further, Buhari praised members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the 60th anniversary, for a good job done so far.