Independence day; What you should know about Nigeria
West African country, Nigeria today, October 1st 2021, celebrates her 61st Independence day, which is celebrated year to mark the end of the British colonial rule in the country.
The day is usually marked by Nigerians across every sector and Nigerians and lovers of the country outside the country.
For many of those who had their childhood from 1960 to around 2006 would remember taking part in the march past parades in their various states with the government officials from various levels available on ground to receive the salute from school children.
While this doesn’t take place anymore, it is, however, among the many fun that takes place on a day like this.
The Independence Day celebration kick starts with a speech from the President of the country, who shares details on the nation’s state, achievements and future goals of the country.
For this year, President Muhammadu Buhari will address the nation.
Buhari in his speech on the 1st of October 2021 said, “For 1st of October 1960 to happen, all hands were on deck. East, West, North all came together to celebrate freedom. Today should not only serve as a reminder of the day the British handed over the reins of power to Nigerians, but also unified Nigerians from all ethnic groups, religions and regions.”
Independence Day is an official holiday in Nigeria where all Nigerians in the country, including public and private sectors, take a day off to celebrate the country.
For the younger generation who may not know, Nigeria gained independence from Britain on October 1st 1960, which was around the era most African countries under the British colonial rule also gained theirs.
The late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the Prime Minister that headed the coalition government of the parliamentary system at the federal level.
The 1960 independence was not total independence from the British rule as the Queen was still the head of state.
However, three years later, Nigeria became a republic.
In October 1963, the reason the country is called the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the late Nnamdi Azikiwe became the country’s first President; this gave the country is a full sovereign right.
Another thing you should know is that the name Nigeria is an artificial name which was given to the country by Flora Shaw; she formed the name from the Niger River.
Before the country was given the name Nigeria, the country was formally known as Royal Niger Company Territories; one can say during this period Nigeria was seen as a business venture for the colonial masters.
With the 61st independence celebration taking place today, Nigeria has grown to become home to the most prominent black population in the world and one of the largest markets in Africa.