The Federal Government has declared Friday, 1 October, as public holiday to mark the country’s 61st independence.
Mr Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, said Wednesday, according to a statement by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Shuaib Belgore.
Aregbesola said the Independence Day celebration would be without pomp due to Covid-19.
In the statement titled, ‘FG declares Friday October 1 as public holiday to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary’, Aregbesola congratulated Nigerians on the 61st Independence and assured of the government’s commitment to tackling and eradicating all forms of challenges, “be they political, socioeconomic and all diverse problems.”
The statement read, “Aregbesola said that our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land, makes Nigeria unarguably the leading black nation in the world and Africa’s pride and beacon of hope, if we can rally ourselves together to harness our potentials.
“A country of about 200 million and above people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious diamond that we are. Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, innovation, music, movie, entertainment, fashion and culture. We are indeed the leading black nation in the entire world and no doubt Africa’s pride and beacon of hope.
“The minister confirmed that celebrating Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary is necessary but that the safety of the citizenry is Mr President’s huge concern, especially with COVID-19 third Delta variant still in place. Therefore, this year’s celebration is being held without the usual pomp.
“While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.
“He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to join hands together with the present administration in the quest to ensure a better Nigeria for all citizens, both at home and abroad, as this, he said, shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past.”