Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and President Goodluck Jonathan joined President Muhammadu Buhari and other top government personalities at the 60th Independence anniversary celebration in Abuja on Thursday.
Former President Jonathan was accompanied by his wife Patience while the first lady Aisha Buhari was also present at the event that held at the Eagle Square.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led other top dignitaries, which include, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, and Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad.
President Buhari arrived at the venue at about 10 am and was ushered to the soapbox to review a mounted parade. A few minutes later, he was escorted to inspect the guards in a parade in an open van.
The parade was made up of members of the Armed Forces namely the Army, Air Force, Navy, and para-military forces. The annual occasion featured traditional dances and other performances by a combined military and civilian artists.
A remarkable part of the event was the Nigerian Air Force display, which was scaled down because of inclement weather. And there was flypast by two Agusta helicopters, both actively involved in combat operations. One of them bore the banner of the theme of the celebration – ‘60 Together’.
The helicopters were followed in echelon by three Alpha jets used for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations such as during ECOMOG, Northern Mali, and Niger Delta militant operations. The jets were followed by Air 39ZA, also involved in operations in the Northeast and Northwest.
Finally, the ceremony was closed with the signing of the anniversary register by the President, who was mounted by his wife, Osinbajo, Jonathan, Gowon; Lawan; Gbajabiamila, the CJN, and lots more.