President Bola Tinubu, accompanied by Vice President Kashim Shettima, led the nation’s Service Chiefs, top government officials, and diplomatic corps members to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The event took place at the State House and featured a grand display of military drills, including a silent presentation, a colorful parade, and a Presidential change of guards performed by the Brigade of Guards.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was President Tinubu’s signing of the anniversary register. He also cut the anniversary cake and released pigeons as a symbol of peace. It’s worth noting that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, had earlier indicated that the 2023 independence celebration would be low-keyed.
Akume emphasized the importance of reflecting on the unity of the country and the journey ahead during the independence anniversary. He expressed confidence that under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership, better days are ahead for Nigeria.
Among the high-profile guests in attendance were Chief Justice of the Federation Olukayode Ariwoola, President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives Abbas Tajudeen, various ministers, and National Assembly members, among others.
This ceremony at Aso Villa marked the first independence day celebration under President Tinubu’s leadership and replaced the traditional full military parade and other entertainments that used to take place at Eagle Square in Abuja. Since the 2010 independence celebration, which was marred by bomb blasts at Eagle Square, former President Goodluck Jonathan had held subsequent anniversaries in the Presidential Villa’s Forecourt. However, former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration broke this tradition by celebrating the 58th Independence Anniversary at Eagle Square in Abuja.