Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki was among several dignitaries who joined President Muhammadu Buhari to celebrate the country’s 55th Independence Day Anniversary at the State House yesterday.
It was the first time Saraki, who is standing trial over alleged false declaration of assets, would be appearing in the State House since his emergence as Senate President.
The ceremony which witnessed the change of guards by the Guards Brigade is holding for the fifth time in the villa since former President Goodluck Jonathan shifted the event away from the Eagle Square in 2011 after the bomb attack at the venue in 2010.
Saraki, who spoke to State House Correspondents, said he was convinced that Nigeria’s future was bright.
According him, the National Assembly under his leadership would continue to make strong laws that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians so that the expected change will be quickly realized.
“It will not be business as usual. We will ensure that the National Assembly will be people-oriented and will make laws that will make impact on Nigerians,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mahmud Mohammed, expressed the hope that Nigeria will achieve progress under President Buhari.
He said Nigeria was on the right path of development. “We will make it by the grace of God. We are on the right path.”
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, said that Nigeria is now on the road to progress and prosperity.
Before the commencement of the colourful ceremony, both Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, took the salute on arrival from the parade mounted by two battalions of the Guards Brigade before proceeding to take their seats.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also took the military salute before the arrival of President Buhari about 10.05am for the start of the event.
During yesterday’s ceremony, President Buhari presided over change of guard and ceremonial military colours by the Guards Brigade.
The ceremony also involved the colour party, comprising the national and regimental colours. There was also 21 gun salute in honour of President Buhari.
The event witnessed the inspection of new Guard/Quarter guard, silent drills, posting of sentries and color parade, weapons and uniforms inspections to ensure conformity with military standards.
President Buhari, who was later accompanied by the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the service chiefs, signed the anniversary register at the event.
He was also led to cut an anniversary cake after releasing white pigeons to signify peace.
Other dignitaries, who attended the ceremony included former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, the head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; former Chief of General Staff, Gen. Oladipo Diya, former Senate President, Joseph Wayas, and Service Chiefs.
The occasion was also graced by former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, APC Bayelsa State Governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, among others.

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