Nigeria gained her independence on October 1, 1960 from Great Britain and will be celebrating 57 years of independence this weekend. The country was granted independence under a constitution with parliamentary government provision and a level of self-rule for the country’s three regions. Nigeria, however, became a federal republic after gaining full independence from the British on October 1, 1963, after the promulgation of a new constitution. Upon gaining full independence, Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first Speaker in the Nigerian parliament, became the first president of the country.
How Nigerian Independence Day is Celebrated
Nigeria’s Independence Day is a national holiday and to celebrate this historic day, a national celebration is marked each year with a presidential address, military parade, and cultural dances. The event is celebrated by Nigerians all over the globe and within Nigeria, people celebrate in numerous ways. Most notably, Nigerian flags are flown everywhere, at times going a little overboard. You will find the Nigerian flag hanging atop large buildings and tiny flags fluttering beside both public and private vehicles a few days before the actual day. Local parades are also organized all over the nation while others opt to go for shows and parties. Nigeria’s Independence Day is also marked by plenty of fireworks, and many find their way to cinemas to watch historical films on how the country gained independence from the British. Above all, given that many people have the day off, most Nigerians get a good day’s rest on this day and those with access to social media spend much of their time online.
Outside of Nigeria, Nigerian Independence Day celebrations in New York are the largest compared to any other such celebrations organized by African nations. New York has been marking this celebration since 1991. Nigerian students studying abroad also mark the celebrations at their respective schools wherever possible.
2017 Nigeria Independence Day Celebrations
This year, numerous celebrations have been earmarked to honor this day. Official national celebrations will be organized by the government for Nigerians within the country. The nation’s high commissions in different countries will also be celebrating the day at their respective locations. Additionally, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared it a day of prayer for the country while Nigerian comedian and compere, Tee-A, has organized an exclusive ‘Independence Day Corporate Tyme Out’ event. On the other hand, the Nigeria Beer Festival has promised an Independence Day mega-concert. In sports, organizers of this year’s Nigeria Cup have unveiled the program for the day’s golf tournament. Nigerians across the globe have come up with many different events to celebrate the day in recognition of their homeland’s independence.