Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the country’s resolve to remain as one indivisible entity is top priority, in spite of the various challenges facing the nation.
The Minister made the remarks in Abuja on Monday at the opening of Nigeria at 60 Photo Exhibition with the theme “60 Years of OurTogetherness.”
“The theme of the photo exhibition has been carefully couched to reflect on the unity of this great country in the past 60 years, despite its diverse cultures, traditions, practices, languages and challenges.
“Like other countries in the world, it is an incontrovertible fact that Nigeria, over the years, has gone through challenging times, but we must not miss the fact that its resolve to remain as one indivisible entity has remained unshaken,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Ministry is using the opportunity provided by the Independence Anniversary celebration to organise a photo exhibition that will deliver information and educate Nigerians, especially the youth, who need a re-awakening voyage into the historical and unique heritage of the country and the secrets behind its unity in diversity.
“This photo exhibition, therefore, is organised to serve as a poignant reminder of significant events in the annals of this great country and how they have shaped the country, ensured peaceful coexistence, patriotism and determination, culminating in our greatness and development.
“For those who did not witness Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, particularly the students, they can at least look at the photos of pre-independent Nigeria; the independence proper; post-independence era; leaders who fought for our independence and have an idea of the struggle for freedom from colonialism and a mental picture of how the situation was then, which gives hope that whatever challenges we may be facing even at this time, we will surmount them and have a strong, united, peaceful and prosperous country,” he said.
The Minister said the exhibition captures six decades of Nigeria’s independence; footprints of Nigeria’s political leaders and 60 years of the labour of the heroes past in ensuring the country’s unity and peace.
He disclosed that the exhibition tells Nigeria’s 60-year story in pictorial form, delivering a photographic presentation of Nigeria’s icons, programmes for national integration, such as the National Youth Service Corps programme, photos of intertribal marriages, creation of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; popular artists, both old and new, as well as the collective achievements in the area of sports, which had been a strong, unifying force for the country.
Alhaji Mohammed said the exhibition also captures ancient and modern fashion/attires/hairstyles; Nigerian cuisine, tourist attractions and festivals; as well as Nigerians in Diaspora and their achievements.
The exhibition, which will run for three days at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja, was declared open by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha also re-echoed the message of unity. He said the need for the country to sustain a united front was unconditional, regardless of the challenges. He said the entity called Nigeria has come to stay for good and the present Administration is making all efforts to keep it as one.
Meanwhile, the Head of civil service Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan reiterated the commitment of the country’s workforce to ensure growth and development in all facets.
Other dignitaries at the occasion were the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku; Heads of Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the National Youth Service Corps, and students, among others.