Nigeria on Friday marked its 61st Independence Day Anniversary. Recall that last year the diamond Jubilee celebration was low key because of the Covid -19 pandemic.
This year the celebration started on Thursday night at the Presidential Villa. President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday, unveiled ‘‘Discover Nigeria’’, a pictorial book on Nigeria’s history, covering the period from Independence in 1960 to the present.
The 392-page book, authored by Bayo Omoboriowo, the President’s official photographer, showcases the country’s rich traditional institutions, the ingenuity of its people, the beauty of its landscape, the richness of its farmlands, stunning waterfalls and seas, among others.
The event featured an exhibition of Nigeria’s Art, craft and cultures, across the six geo-political zones – curated by the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC).
The exhibition entailed a detailed display of various artworks, artifacts, and cultural symbols from various states and ethnic groups in the country.
Remarkably, the photobook, Discover Nigeria, was approved as Guinness World Record’s largest photo book.
Omoboroiwo was notified of the groundbreaking feat on Thursday afternoon by Guinness.
In an email to the 34-year old photographer, the Records Management Team of Guinness wrote:
‘‘Dear Adebayo Omoboriowo
‘‘We are thrilled to inform you that your application for the largest photo book has been successful and you are now the Guinness World Records Title Holder!
‘‘You are now eligible for one complimentary Guinness World Records certificate.
‘‘Congratulations, you are Officially Amazing!
‘‘Records Management Team.’’
The record largest photo book, ‘‘Discover Nigeria’’, measures 7.8meters by 7.8meters (totaling 60.84 square meters or 654 ft² 87 in²) when closed and when opened it is 15.65metres on its horizontal breadth and 7.8meters on its vertical length.
The photobook of 60square meters of 60 images on 60 pages showcases Nigeria’s rich traditional institutions, the ingenuity of its people, the beauty of its landscape, the richness of its farmlands, stunning waterfalls, and seas, among others.
Its replica which is a coffee table top tourist reference material is available for commercial purchase in bookstores nationwide and it measures 30cm by 30cm.
A delighted Omoboriowo said: ‘‘I am grateful to God for the privilege to be the Nigerian I am, grateful to my family and loved ones and very grateful to President Buhari for believing in me from day 1 and supporting this idea from inception.
‘‘Nigeria is a beautiful country with huge potentials and I’m glad our efforts in promoting Nigerian Art and Culture to the world haven’t been a wasted effort. Join us to Discover Nigeria, join us to birth a new narrative of a vibrant people and culture.’’
So it was double celebrations for the official photographer of the President who etched himself into the history books.
The banquet hall the venue of the unveiling was at its beautiful best. Since the assumption of president Buhari in 2015, he has held several events at the Banquet Hall but the unveiling of the book event was arguably the most beautiful the hall has ever been. The hall was adorned with different cultural attires giving it a real Nigerian look and feel. Drinks were also served in calabash to add more glamour to the event.
On Friday, President Buhari led the celebration of the 61st independence anniversary at Eagle Square, Abuja in a colorful ceremony.
The president reviewed a military parade to mark the 61st Independence Day Anniversary of the country, leading an array of dignitaries to honor the country.
The President, who arrived at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the event, was received by senior government officials of government before being approached by the Parade Commander, Lt. Col. Salim Hassan, for permission to commence the parade.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), led the long list of other senior officials of government to watch the anniversary parade.
The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila; the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad; Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF Mr. Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, were among those at the event.
Also present at the ceremony were former President Goodluck Jonathan; former Head of State, General Abdulsalamu Abubakar (Rtd); former First Lady, Dr. Patience Jonathan; ministers, other government officials.
The event also had traditional rulers, the Labour Unions, paramilitary organisations and others in attendance.