The Federal Government says in spite of the challenging times the country has gone through over the years, its resolve to remain as one indivisible entity has remained unshaken. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the Nigeria@60 year long photo exhibition. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, with the theme “60 Years of our Togetherness”, was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan. Mohammed said the theme of the photo exhibition was carefully couched to reflect on the unity of the country in the past 60 years, despite its diverse cultures, traditions, practices, languages and challenges.“This Photo Exhibition 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.“They will also look at 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.“These have given 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, which will be opened to the public till Sept. 23, captured six decades of Nigeria’s independence; footprints of Nigeria’s political leaders and 60 years of the labour of past heroes in ensuring the country’s unity and peace.He said the exhibition also presented 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 and creation of the Federal Capital Territory.“You will also view 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,” he said.Mohammed enjoined Nigerians, especially the youth, to spend time to view and savour the photo exhibition, to get acquainted with the nation’s political, socio-cultural and historical legacies.He said arrangement had been made for students within the FCT to view the exhibition within the period.
Mustapha, who declared the event opened, said Nigeria had summounted its myriad of challenges through its rich and dynamic culture and resilient spirit.He said the exhibition would help to correct the biasses and incorrect revelations about the past which many youths had been fed with.On her part, Yemi-Esan said the country had weathered the storm of adversity and many challenges to remain a united nation.She said the exhibition presented the opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to a greater future.The event was attended by students, National Youths Service Corp members, Heads of parastatal agencies in the ministry of information and culture including NAN Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle.