It was an evening of pomp and pageantry as the Nigerian High Commission in Freetown led by His Excellency, Ambassador Henry John Omaku (fcim), welcome Nigerians, government officials from the host country, members of the diplomatic corps, and the business sector in a well-attended dinner to commemorate the 62nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The rich cultural heritage of Africa’s most populous ethnic group was on display as various cultural groups showcased their artistry, culture, and dancing prowess before the enthusiastic audience.
Speaking at the occasion His Excellency, The High Commissioner, Ambassador Henry John Omaku emphasized that “we cannot but appreciate the remarkable journey to our 62nd Independence Anniversary Celebration. Although like every nation, we have encountered many challenges and tribulations, it is no doubt that Nigeria has continued to soar above them all. As a nation with different tribes and tongues, we have continued to work towards attaining the vision of our founding fathers for a united and prosperous country.” This was clearly depicted in the abundance of the cultural display, food served, and the exchange of banters by Nigerian residents in Freetown from the different ethnic groups present at the occasion.
He further noted that “beyond the shores of the country, the foreign policy of Nigeria prioritizes Africa, starting with its immediate neighbours, the entire ECOWAS and Africa as a whole, has in the last few years received a renewed attention by the administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR); This is evident in the various efforts of Nigeria geared towards strengthening the strong bilateral relations between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, established in mutual respect and trust by our founding fathers; Together with the government of Sierra Leone, led by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, the Nigeria High Commission has continued to work assiduously to strengthen this strong bilateral relation.”
In another development, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. David J. Francis also extolled the cordial relationship that exists between Nigeria and Sierra Leone which dates back even before the independence, and promised that the government of His Excellency Retd Brig. Julius Maada would continue to work towards consolidating the relationship.
The highlight of the occasion was marked by an exchange of toasts to the Unity and peace of Nigeria, as well as group photo shots with various dignitaries in attendance. As the Nigerian envoy, alongside members, of the High Commission played a good host to guests in attendance.