By Ismail Abdulaziz
President Bola Tinubu on Sunday served as the Special Guest of Honour at the change of Guards of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The event was part of the 63rd Independence Anniversary with the theme “Nigeria @63, Renewed Hope for Unity and Prosperity”.
Tinubu led other members of the administration to review the various activities of the event.
The activities included Submission of Parade, Independence Anniversary Parade, and Guards Brigade Silent Drill.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by Vice President, Kashim Shettima, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.
Other personalities at the event included the Chief Justice of the Federation, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ministers, Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps.
NAN also reports that other activities at the event included signing of anniversary register, cutting of anniversary cake as well as releasing of anniversary pigeons.
The president had earlier addressed the nation and spelt out the various reforms put in place by the new administration to turn around the economic and social fortunes of Nigerians.
Tinubu had stressed on the workers welfare, deployment of CNG cars to ease the cost of transportation as well as fiscal policies to attract businesses and employment for the teeming youths.
He said: “Nigeria is remarkable in its formation and essential character. We are a broad and dynamic blend of ethnic groups, religions, traditions and cultures.
“Yet, our bonds are intangible yet strong, invisible yet universal. We are joined by a common thirst for peace and progress, by the common dream of prosperity and harmony and by the unifying ideals of tolerance and justice.
“Forging a nation based on the fair application of these noble principles to a diverse population has been a task of significant blessing but also a serial challenge.
“ Some people have said an independent Nigeria should never have come into existence. Some have said that our country would be torn apart. They are forever mistaken. Here, our nation stands and here we shall remain.”
The president called on all Nigerians to rally round the administration to achieve the various initiatives for a better Nigeria.
Tinubu said: “I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.
“ Reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few.
“ There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
“Fellow compatriots, the journey ahead will not be navigated by fear or hatred. We can only achieve our better Nigeria through courage, compassion and commitment as one indivisible unit.”(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani