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Nigerian Independence Day

Nigerian Independence Day is celebrated on October 1. It commemorated the country’s independence from British sovereignty in 1960. The Nigerian government observes this holiday yearly. The start of the celebrations is marked with the president’s address to the public, which is aired on radio and television.

This day is observed by the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workforce, and national education services. On this day, offices and marketplaces will close, and locals will go to the streets dressed in green and white to celebrate. Primary and secondary schools march in parades at state capitals and local government neighborhoods.

Nigerian Independence Day

History of Nigerian Independence Day

The first European explorers from Spain and Portugal began dealing with natives in the 16th century, establishing ports like Lagos. Through the Royal Niger Company, the British acquired an increasingly powerful influence in the region in the late nineteenth century, blocking German attempts to develop.

The regions under the jurisdiction of the Royal Niger Company were renamed the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1900. This was joined with the Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914 to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, which forms the modern-day boundaries of Nigeria.

Many aspects of Nigeria’s modern life were established during British rule. Still, by the mid-twentieth century, the call for independence sweeping across Africa, combined with the decline of the territories in the British Empire, led to Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960, under a constitution with a parliamentary government and a degree of autonomy for the country’s three regions.

Nigeria gained absolute independence from Britain on October 1, 1963, when a new constitution was established, with Nnamdi Azikiwe as its first president.

Political turmoil prompted a succession of military coups in 1966, and a military dictatorship-controlled Nigeria until October 1, 1979, when democratic government was restored.

The Name Nigeria

Flora Shaw invented the term “Nigeria.” She was the wife of Lord Lugard, a British soldier who opened the road for Nigeria’s union and became the country’s first Governor-General. Flora was inspired by the magnificent river Niger and merged the terms ‘Niger’ and ‘Area’ to produce the word ‘Nigeria.’

How is the Nigerian Independence Day Celebrated?

Nigerian Independence Day is marked by parades, music, celebrations, cuisine, and friends and family reunions.

The day traditionally begins in the morning with an address by the president, which formally kicks off the day of celebrations. Following this, the Nigerian flag is ceremoniously raised, and an Independence cake is cut, which generally features the flag’s colors or coat of arms.

There is also a formal parade with bands, music, visuals, dancing, and a processional changing of the guard. Following this, a performance of songs and dances to reflect the various ethnic groups that make up Nigeria is generally held to ensure that everyone is represented at the parade.

People are thronging the streets in celebration of the country’s independence. There will be many flags, placards, and colorful clothes, as people will wear the Nigerian national colors of green and white.

Nigerian Independence Day Parade

Nigerian Independence Day Celebrations

The Nigerian government observes the holiday every year. The president’s address to the people, which is aired on radio and television, kicks off the festivities. There are additional festivities in the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workforce, and national education services. For example, in several state capitals and local government regions where they are located, elementary and secondary schools do a ceremonial march past. Individuals and organizations parade through the streets wearing green-white-green as they celebrate. On October 1, offices and marketplaces in Nigeria will be closed.

Parades around the country

Eagle Square hosts an annual civil-military parade, with prominent officials of Nigeria’s Presidential Cabinet in attendance. At the event, the president inspects the guard of honor (mounted by the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force, and the Security and Civil Defence Corps, among other paramilitary forces) in an inspection car in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief and Commander of the Presidential Guard Brigade. The Nigerian Armed Forces’ massed bands, directed by the Nigerian Army Band Corps director, perform music and salutes. As the celebration ends, an Army Artillery Regiment detachment fires a 21-gun salute.

Family reunions and fireworks

Many Nigerians spend the day with family or visiting friends, eating jollof rice with plantain and chicken or other traditional soups like egusi soup, ogbono soup, okro soup, or Banga soup are either eaten with pounded yam, eba, amala, or fufu.

Because there are no official fireworks displays, most young people buy their fireworks from local merchants and ignite them to commemorate the occasion.

Have some fun at the beach.

A day at the beach is a guaranteed bet for those who enjoy the seashore! Once again, the beach is transformed into a makeshift outdoor party, with big speakers hidden behind tents playing the newest Afrobeats and older Fuji classics that older generations proudly call “the better sort of music.”

Picnics are brought to the beach by family and friends. On the other hand, independent merchants sell various grilled types of meat and fish.

Day of Rest

Others merely regard the national holiday as a day of leisure and relaxation. They appreciate getting away from the hustle, and bustle of daily life before it all begins the next working day again.

Nigerian Independence Day Celebrations held outside of Nigeria

Since 1991, Nigerian Independence Day has been celebrated on the streets of New York. The celebrations in the United States are the largest outside of Nigeria, attracting around 75,000 people each year.

Nigerian Independence Day

The Importance of Independence Day

Independence Day is an official national holiday in Nigeria; this is Nigeria’s national day, which is usually commemorated on October 1. It commemorates the proclamation of Nigeria’s independence from British domination.

Nigeria gained complete independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960. On October 1, 1960, the nation got its Freedom Charter from Princess Alexandra of Kent, the Queen’s delegate to the Nigerian independence celebrations. On October 1, 1960, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, declared the country’s independence in a speech read at what was then known as the ‘Race Course,’ with Princess Alexandria and Sir James Robertson.

The event in 1960 finally resulted in the foundation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; however, the route to independence began with certain constitutional reforms that saw the country achieve self-rule in some areas in 1957 and overall independence on October 1, 1960.

As a result, October 1 has been recognized as a national holiday to mark the day Nigeria finally declared independence from the United Kingdom.

However, every year, patriotic individuals throughout all 36 states of Nigeria commemorate Independence Day (National Day), regardless of race or religion.

The current President of Nigeria makes a speech on the morning of October 1 to formally kick off the Independence Day celebrations. With the singing of the national anthem, the country’s green-white-green flag will also be unfurled in Abuja, the capital city.

Gifts that can be given to celebrate Nigerian Independence Day

On the occasion of Independence Day, it is one of those days those gifts just seem perfect. We have selected 10 gift ideas for you to celebrate your independence from slavery. Because your freedom is worth celebrating.

Do not hesitate to spoil yourself and your family with gifts like customized caps, jotters, journals, table clocks, special edibles like chocolates and candy, etc.

Conclusion Nigerian Independence Day

In conclusion, all Nigerians look forward to the country’s Independence Day celebrations, from the president’s live television and radio remarks to the magnificent cultural dances and songs by students from several states. Most significantly, the public holiday commemorating our wonderful country allows everyone to reflect on this great nation’s accomplishments.

Date

Oct 01 2023

Time

All Day

Local Time

  • Timezone: Europe/London
  • Date: Oct 01 2023
  • Time: All Day

Location

Nigeria

Organizer

You

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