THIS year’s independence anniversary celebration on October 1, 2012 will be low key, the Federal Government said yesterday in Abuja.

The government said it would only revert to an elaborate celebration after Nigeria marks its centennial as a nation after the 1914 amalgamation.

Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, who rolled out the activities lined up for 2012 Independence Day, said the low-key nature of the celebration was a reflection of the mood of the country.

He added that the decision was in tandem with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.

Moro said: “The transformation agenda is like an athletic race, you do not begin to celebrate until you have touched the tape. The world is troubled and the economy is on the downward trend, especially in Europe. We are not excluded in this, as we have critical challenges in almost every sphere of our daily lives. For a responsive government, it will not be a glamorous anniversary at the expense of the need of its people.

“In tune with the national mood on reflection of our national life to correct the anomalies, rather than committing huge resources to the celebration, we want to commit that to Nigerians deserving of peace, security and stable means to livelihood,” he said.

The minister, who did not disclose the amount budgeted for this year’s event, said in 2014, when Nigeria will be marking her centennial year, it will be more grandeur, as the President will be telling Nigerians how far he has taken Nigeria. The country will be expected to be matching towards maturity.”

He listed the activities starting from September 6 to October 1, 2012 as a presidential retreat for the civil society organisations, anniversary lecture (September 8), National Honour Award (September 17), September 25 and 26 will feature a Conference of Secretaries of State Governments of the 36 states of the federation to share ideas on the way forward for Nigeria.

The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan will visit hospitals and orphanage homes with officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs to offer succour to Nigerians in this category on September 27, the next day a Jumat service will hold at the National Mosque, where Muslims will pray for Nigeria. September 29 and 30 are dedicated as patron’s night of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs NIIA) and an interdenominational Christian service.

Jonathan will cap the celebration on October 1, 2012 with a national anniversary broadcast to the country.

Source: retrieved 09/05/12