Saraki, Dogara, absent as Nigeria marks 58th Independence

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Monday, were conspicuously absent at the Independence Day parade organised to commemorate Nigeria’s 58th anniversary.

But the absence of Saraki and Dogara might not be unconnected with their recent defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The strictly military event held at the Eagles Square, Abuja, was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and other very important personalities

Also in attendance at the parade were the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen; two former Heads of State: Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and members of diplomatic communities.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan were also absent at the auspicious event.

On arrival at the venue, Buhari first took the national salute before moving to inspect the parade in a motorcade.

He later returned to the VIP stand to join Osinbajo, Onnoghen, Gowon, Abdulsalami and other dignitaries.

Key activities at the parade include: Inspection of Guards by the Special Guest of Honour, Buhari; march past in slow and quick time; march past by para-military organizations; agencies and Nigeria Police Force Mounted Troops;

military equipment march past on low loaders; police dogs and outriders display and Nigeria Air Force Air Show; firing of volleys and 21 gun salute; review order and three hearty cheers.

But President Buhari did not make any speech at the parade aside the Independence Day broadcast which he addressed the nation at about 7am on Monday, October 1, 2018.

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