Welcome Address by The HMIC, Alh. Lai Mohammed, at The Opening of The Nigeria @ 60 Year-Long Photo Exhibition, Held at The National Press Center, Radio House, Abuja, on Monday, 20th September, 2021
It is indeed my honour and privilege to welcome the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Honourable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Government Agencies, Directors, members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the National Youth Service Corps and students here present, to the “Nigeria at 60 Photo Exhibition”. The exhibition, with the theme “60 Years of Our Togetherness,” is part of events to mark Nigeria’s year-long Diamond Jubilee Independence Anniversary celebration, as approved by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari. The celebration commenced on 1st October, 2020, and will terminate on 30th September, 2021.
2. 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. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, through the Ownership Sub-Committee of Nigeria @ 60 Project, is using the opportunity provided by the Independence Anniversary celebration to organise a Photo Exhibition that will deliver information and educate many of us, especially our youth who need a re-awaking voyage into the historical and unique heritage of our great country and the secrets behind our unity.
3.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.
4. 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.
5.Specifically, the exhibition captures six decades of Nigeria’s independence; footprints of Nigeria’s political leaders and 60 years of the labour of our heroes past in ensuring the country’s unity and peace. It tells Nigeria’s 60-year story in pictorial form, delivering a photographic presentation of Nigeria’s icons. In addition, you will view 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; that are well known across the nation and internationally; our collective achievements in the area of sport which, as you are all aware, has acted as a strong unifying force; ancient and modern fashion/attires/hairstyles; Nigerian cuisine that we love to eat irrespective of what tribe you belong to; tourist attractions and festivals; as well as Nigerians in Diaspora and their achievements, just to mention a few.
6.I wish to therefore use this opportunity to encourage everyone here, especially the youth, to spend time to view and savour this significant photo exhibition, to get acquainted with our political, socio-cultural and historical legacies.
7. It will be open to the general public and run from today Monday, 20th of Sept., to Thursday, 23rd Sept., 2021. An arrangement has also been made for students within the FCT to view the exhibition within this period.
8. Once again, I welcome you all, Your Excellencies and other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and I thank you all for your kind attention.