London - President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio are billed to address the event to mark the flag-off ceremony and business forum of Nigeria’s centenary celebration at Park Lane, London.
Facilitator of Nigeria’s centenary celebration and Executive Director of Dabbs International Nigeria Ltd., Emmanuel Minimah disclosed this when he along with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke paid a courtesy visit to Governor Akpabio in Abuja.
They also disclosed that Akwa Ibom State has been chosen as The Face of Nigeria’s centenary because of the historical significance of the signing of the amalgamation treaty by Sir Lord Lugard in the present day Ikot Abasi, in Akwa Ibom State.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Akpabio said the choice of Akwa Ibom as the face of Nigeria's centenary celebration and key contributor to all events in London will place Nigeria in the right historical perspective.
Governor Akpabio said the event would afford Nigeria the opportunity to invite those in diaspora to visit the Centenary House where the Southern and Northern protectorates were amalgamated in Ikot Abasi.
Chief Akpabio expressed optimism that the initiative would go a long way to showcasing some of the cultural monuments like Mary Slessor Hall and “Bridge of no Return” where many Africans were sold into slavery.
“This is history rewritten. For the first time on behalf of the people of Akwa Ibom State, I now know that truly, Nigeria is interested in keeping the right history. We had missed as Nigeria, the aspect of telling others the truth”,he said.
He remarked that even from the diaspora, hundreds of visitors come to the state to take pictures in this cultural monument as prelude to the celebration and said some said they want to see where Mary Slessor abolished the killing of twins in the whole West Africa.
Chief Akpabio congratulated President Jonathan for being the Head of State to celebrate the centenary and pledged to partner with the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation to ensure a hitch free celebration.
The Minister, Chief Duke said the celebration would afford Nigeria the opportunity to relieve her history and communicate her very best to the outside world.
He said the choice of Akwa Ibom as the face of Nigeria centenary celebration was necessitated by its leadership love for excellence, passion and quality in projects delivery and good governance. “And partnering with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Akwa Ibom will set the tone not only for Nigerians in diaspora population but will also stimulate interest by various other states to key into the activities of the centenary”.
Present at the presentation of the centenary event guidelines to Governor Akpabio were the Director General MCMM, Yusuf Aldullo, Director General NCAC, M. M Maidugu and former House of Representative member, Iquo Inyang.