ECOMIG leaders at the Nigeria’s Independence Celebration
By Buba Gagigo
The ECOWAS military intervention in the Gambia, ECOMIG, celebrated Nigeria’s 63rd Independence at their base camp at the Yundum Barracks on Monday.
NIGCOY and ECOMIG Commanding Officer Lt. Col. MJ Bent, ECOWAS Resident Representative to The Gambia Ms. Miatta Lily French, and ECOMIG Contingent Commander Colonel Ousmane Aly Kane were among the dignitaries who attended the celebration ceremony.
In his speech, Lt. Col. Bent said that Nigeria’s Independence Day is one of the most important events celebrated by Nigerians both in Nigeria and abroad.
“The day has been designated a national holiday celebrated each year by citizens regardless of ethnicity and religion both within and outside the shores of the country. Furthermore, it is a day aimed at celebrating the struggles and sacrifices of our founding fathers, the history and greatness of our nation, and the strength of our diversity. Thus, the essence of today’s event is to bring Nigerians here in the Gambia and our gracious hosts, the people of Gambia together in order to celebrate our national day,” he said.
He also said the celebration seeks to bring the two communities together as brothers and sisters living in harmony.
“The Nigerian National Independence Celebration promises to be very exciting, featuring a cultural fashion show, and colorful and entraining traditional dances from both Nigeria and Gambia. Others are a silent drill display, tug-of-war competition, live performance by renowned Gambia and Nigerian artists, and raffle draw segment where various prizes can be won. At this juncture, I want to once again especially welcome the Special Guest of honor and indeed all our distinguished invited guests. I urge you all to sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonderful display lined up for your pleasure. Thank you and God Bless,” he said.
ECOWAS Resident Representative to The Gambia, Ms. Miatta Lily French who was the guest of honor for the event said Nigeria continues to play a major role in peacekeeping in the Sub-region;
“The Nation has come a long way and has contributed tremendously to the growth of Africa. Indeed, Nigeria continues to play a major role in peacekeeping in the Sub-region. Without peace, there can be no sustainable growth and development. I therefore wish to call on everyone here to join hands in promoting peace in the ECOWAS region and indeed all over the world. To the Members of the ECOWAS mission in the Gambia, let this day continue to remind us of our mandate, which is to maintain peace and support political stability. To my dear Troops of the Nigerian Contingent ECOWAS mission in Gambia, and all other Nigerians in Gambia, I wish to say a very big congratulations on this auspicious occasion of your Independence Anniversary. We pray for the continuous growth of the Nigerian Nation and stability in Africa,” she said.
The Nigeria Independence Day is one of the foremost events marked annually by Nigerians both in Nigeria and in the diaspora. The occasion is to celebrate the birth of Nigeria as a nation with its independence on 1 Oct 1960.