Federal Government has announced that 28 World leaders have indicated their intentions to grace Nigeria’s centenary international Summit with the theme as “Human Security, Peace and Development: An Agenda for Africa”.
According to the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, the theme of Nigeria’s centenary celebrations were designed around the key concepts of unity, indivisibility, virility, progress and promise of the Nigerian federation.
The International Conference will hold on February 27 in Abuja and will attempt to focus Africa’s attention on the need to tackle insecurity in the African continent.
Anyim, who was accompanied in the post-Federal Executive Council (FEC), by Information Minister, Labaran Maku; Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed; Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Viola Onwuliri; Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu; Ministers of Mines and Steel, Musa Sada; Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi; Internal Affairs, Abbah Moro; and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni Aji; said President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to present the lead paper with focus on how to secure the continent against activities of terrorists, while a communique will be issued from the deliberations.
The celebration will be kick-started with the Centenary Fund Raising Ball, to be held on the 25th of February, at the Eko Convention center, Lagos.
Already a Board of Trustees headed by former Head of state, Yakubu Gowon,that will manage funds realized from the Centenary Fund Raising Ball, has been inaugurated.
On the relevance of such celebration at a time Nigeria was facing security challenges, Maku said that “We are not just celebrating. No! It will focus on the impact of insecurity because these challenges are being experienced all over Africa. This celebration will also sell Nigeria to the world by exposing opportunities for investments in Agriculture, Power, Manufacturing and all other areas, to show hope to investors that this country is worth investing in”.
Anyim said 100 distinguished Nigerians would get presidential awards next Friday in recognition of their contributions to national development in the last 100 years, stressing that 40 percent of these awards would be posthumous.
Speaking more on the awards, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada said those to be considered for the awards included heroes of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, pioneers in commerce and industry, promoters of democratic transition, sports heroes, accomplished pioneer civil servants, accomplished contemporary entrepreneurs, internationally acclaimed artists and literary icons, promoters of peace and moral excellence, among others.
According to Sada, government made the process for the selection of Awardees “very objective by advertising the call for nominations through newspaper adverts and letters written to states and Local Governments”
“President Jonathan will on the 28th, honour 100 Nigerians; 40 percent of which will be posthumous for people who had made land mark achievements in the last hundred years. Government will also use the occasion to present his administration’s achievements in the last few years”
According to him, “I am sure that at the end of the event, Nigerians will be happy with those who have been selected for these awards”.
Anyim added that ” there is going to be a centenary lottery and the proceeds will go to support this celebration and all the telecom companies and every Nigerian are being encouraged to be part if this programme”.
The Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi announced that government will present a focus on the history of the achievements recorded in the last hundred years through multimedia presentation.
He said the brains behind the opening and closing ceremony in the London 2012 Olympics are the ones to repeat the feat in Abuja during the centenary live concert which will kick off by 4.pm with musical performance by Nigerian artists.
There will also be a Jummat prayer at the National Mosque and a thanks giving service at the National Ecumenical Center, Abuja.
Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed, disclosed that over 25, 000 persons are expected to witness some of the events, including the heads of states at the national stadium, Abuja
He said that the venues, including the National Stadium Abuja, the International Conference Center, Abuja and the venues for the religious services have been renovated and made ready for the events.
“Every state have been mandated to sponsor at least 200 delegates and one traditional ruler from each state of the federation, including FCT”