The United States of America is a special country in many aspects, a uniquely sovereign state, massive in power and position, respected in philanthropy and humanitarian reachouts, envied in diplomacy and development affairs, proud in diversity and spread, enormous in wealth and innovation, advancing in statecraft matter, dependable ally of several nations and committed promoter of global good.
Though not without its challenges, the United States advances in paces and pursuits to foster the vision and promotions of the Founders. With each confrontation faced the country tackles and steps on it to continually advance into global relevance. Now, the LAND OF THE FREE and HOME OF THE BRAVE has tremendously grown over the centuries (amidst its ups and downs) with influences and impacts envied and unmatched.
‘Elected leaders owe it to their people to show that democracy can deliver for their needs. And the United States is Nigeria’s partner in making it possible to deliver’.
Pleasingly also, Americans, owners and custodians of the Land, loved their nation with unspeakable passion and flaunt its greatness anywhere they go and at every opportunity they have. Talk with any patriotic Americans and they will tell you they are proud and happy of this heritage bequeathed to them for posterity. The ‘God Bless America’ mantra is now universal, and emulated by most country, and American celebrates every landmark event linked to their existence and continuity, and one of such milestone commemorations is the Independence Day anniversary.
At home and everywhere around the world, the national Fourth of July is a time of jubilation and festivity, Americans proudly showcase a free and powerful country with much happiness and grateful hearts, and they are quick to let you know that America is still a growing country with much more to offer in terms of the various positivity it is known for. And, friends of America at home and abroad also gathered to celebrate this historic time and moment with them.
In that spirit and sprint the country put forward its 247 years’ commemoration event in Nigeria with so much pomp and pageantry, and it was indeed a spectacular celebration. Both in Abuja and Lagos, Nigerians privileged to be present at both occasions testified to the sights and sounds therein.
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria currently headed by the Charge d’ Affairs Mr David Green and the Mission staff in the country put up events worthy of U.S. presentations and pride. No thanks to Covid-19, the last anniversary of this magnitude was last held in 2019.
At the Embassy event in Abuja, top dignitaries from Nigeria headed by the Senate President, H.E. Godswin Akpabio graced the event, it was a time of goodwill and solidarity messages; a time to interact and share great time together, a time of much merriment and conviviality, a time to strengthen bilateral bonds and continued relations.
The June 27th reception in Lagos was not different either and was glamorous too. It was a gathering of guests from all walks of life in Nigeria at the Consul General’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, to celebrate with a genuine and committed friend of Nigeria. Pasts and present Governors and government officials were there. Serving Executive Governors of Akwa Ibom, Osun, Bayelsa, Lagos (the host state) were also there. The Labour Party presidential candidate H.E. Peter Obi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, prominent Obas, Kings and reagents, Clergy, business moguls, politicians, media personalities and organisations and vast arrays of attendees came from their various busy schedules for the event.
The Lagos event hosted by the Consulate General headed by Mr. Will Stephens was grand and began on a good note with the singing of both countries national anthems followed with Independence Day parade. At the Lagos event, the U.S. Charge d’ Affairs and staff were everywhere excitedly welcoming their distinguished guests and ensuring they are comfortable. The representative of the Lagos State Government, the SSG, Mrs Salu-Hundeyin, during her goodwill message on behalf of Mr Governor and the great people of Lagos, acknowledged the wonderful relationship existing between Lagos and the United State government and noted with delight the wonderful works of U.S. in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Mr David Green appreciated everyone who came to celebrate with the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, he highlighted the founding of his nation, the democratic principles that have guided it throughout its history, and the importance of July 4th celebration as a significant event in America. He also noted with delight the ties that existed between Nigeria and the U.S., the shared pursuits of democratic values, military and defence alliance, peace and security collaborations, economic prosperity promotions, qualitative health and education partnership, and ongoing national development efforts.
He also thanked Nigeria security operatives for their rapid response and cooperation during the rescues of those kidnapped following the tragic attack on the staff of the Consulate where 3 staff and 4 police attaché were killed in Anambra state. He assured the nation of continued support of the United States in bolstering security capabilities to; combat terrorism, violent crime, human rights abuses, corruption, and ensure more robust military-to-military ties, police training, and judicial cooperation amongst others. He also reiterated the U.S. commitment to support President Tinubu Administration succeed and encouraged Nigerians to be law abiding, peaceful and promoters of an improved and impactful Nigeria.
Both celebratory events provided the much-needed interactions longed for after the coronavirus incursion. The musical rendezvous, anniversary cake, diverse refreshments and drinks available and the resplendently adorned environment all added to a huge reception typical of the America hospitality and abundance. It was indeed a get-together like never before, even as the skies opened for showers of blessing to mark the celebration in Lagos.
God Bless United States of America…Long Live U.S.-Nigeria Ties.
Happy Independence Day Anniversary!
Acclaim Nigeria International Magazine (ANIM) was there and also covered the event.