It was a fitting start. A celebration of togetherness! Political differences between some former heads of state and President Goodluck Jonathan were temporarily set aside last Monday when they joined the president to kick off the centenary celebration at the banquet hall of the presidential Villa.
General Mohammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo were some of the surprise appearances at the kick off of the celebration because of their recent relationship with President Jonathan and his government.
Since he made his foray into the murky waters of presidential contest and has consistently lost, General Buhari has demonstrated his exasperation with the governments that supervised such elections by boycotting all activities relating to such governments.
Since 2003 when he contested and lost to Obasanjo, Buhari has refused to attend even the National Council of State, NCS, meetings and has carried his protest to Late Umaru Yar’Adua and Jonathan administrations.
For Obasanjo, open criticism of the Jonathan administration has remained one of his past times since for a while since resigning as the chairman of the board of trustees of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
But when the activities for the celebration began, all but one of the living former Nigerian leaders attended the dinner which was meant to unveil the centenary Logo and its theme song. Though it is about one hundred years ago that the disparate ethnic and cultural groups in what is now known as Nigeria were brought together by Fredrick Luggard, the relation between and amongst the various ethnic groups have remained at best tenuous, and it is the ability of the Nigerian people to remain together despite the various challenges that have continued to buffet the country that the present administration wants to celebrate.