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Monday, 4 February 2013
Jonathan, Buhari hold hands
Former Heads of State and Presidents including Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Gen Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Alh Shehu Shagari and Abdulsalami Abubakar had on Monday night stormed the presidential villa for the flag off dinner of centenary celebrations billed to hold January 2014.
Obasanjo who presented the centenary theme enjoined Nigerians to love their country and speak positively about their leaders. The former president had since been critical of Jonathan’s administration, accusing the president of being weak to handle the Boko Haram menace.
High point of the event was the lighting of the centenary torch by Jonathan to Gen. Buhari. Jonathan in the process held him hand in hand as they climbed the platform to conduct the lighting of the torch.
They were later joined by the Vice President Namadi Sambo, all former Heads of State, first lady Dame Patience Jonathan and the vice president’s wife.
President Jonathan in his speech expressed hope that the country was destined for greatness. He said the country was destined to be powerful and great and will continue to be the pride of generation yet unborn. This, he said was possible despite its challenges.
According to the president, what makes the country great is not the abundance of mineral resources, but the interactions of Nigerians everywhere in the country as well as the efforts of people from all works of life.
Citing the victory of the Super Eagles in the quarter finals against Cote D’Ivoire in the on-going African Cup of Nations in South Africa, he said the hard work of all Nigerians promotes the country’s sense of unity.
Gowon who unveiled the centenary logo, described Nigeria as a nation of strong, peaceful and hard working people. He expressed hope in the future of the country.
The logo, he said embodies the country’s values for faith and courage and symbolises unity. He prayed for Nigeria to experience peace and progress. He presented the logo to Mr President.
Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar presented the centenary theme song, while Speaker Aminu Tambuwal launched the centenary web portal, before the Senate President, David Mark launched the centenary lottery.
Also present at the occasion were SGF, Senator Anyim, Pius Anyim, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy Senate President, Sen Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha also made the event as well as other members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Others are Senators Ken Nnamani, Prof Jeryy Gana, PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Senator Ben Obi, Andy Uba, Chris Ngige, Zack Orji, Aliko Dangote, Ben Murray Bruce, Barnabas Gemade
Governors present were TA Orji (Abia), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe)
Nollywood stars present were Monalisa Chinda, Segun Arinze, Jide Kosoko, Charles Okafor, AGN president, Ibinabo Fibresima.