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Buhari joins dignitaries to mark Independence Anniversary

President Muhammadu Buhari joined hundreds of dignitaries to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was the first independence celebration in the second tenure of the Buhari administration.

Buhari, who appeared in blue traditional attire with a blue cap to match, inspected a quarter guard before marching to the presidential villa’s forecourt to receive national salute.

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The salute was followed by renditions of the national anthem, staging of the conduct of change of guards parade, silent drill and special displays.

The ceremony was followed by band displays and 21 gun salute and inspection of the quarter guard.

There was also presidential change of guard from 177 Guard Battalion to 7th Battalion of the Guards Brigade.

Buhari later signed the anniversary register and released 59 pigeons from a cage.

The president cut the anniversary cake, assisted by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawal, Speaker of the House of Representatives,Femi  Gbajabiamila; Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Vice-President Namadi Sambo and a former Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, retired Gen. Oladipo Diya and the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole were among personalities at the event.

Ministers, heads of security agencies, including service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, traditional and religious leaders were also in attendance.

Buhari had earlier addressed the nation in a broadcast as part of activities to mark the Independence Anniversary. (NAN)