Three former presidents that preceeded Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Olusegun Obasanjo; Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as well as President of the Senate, David Mark, were on Thursday absent from the country’s centenary being held in Abuja.
The former leaders did not attend the international conference held as part of activities marking the centenary, which was attended by about 30 heads of governments and international organisations.
But another three former leaders, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Shehu Shagari and Ernest Shonekan, as well as ex-Vice President Alex Ekwueme and a former Chief of General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya (retd.) attended the event.
The conference tagged, “Human Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for 21st Century Africa” was held under tight security at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Other dignitaries in attendance included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha; state governors; security chiefs; former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku; National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Adamu Muazu; the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih; members of the diplomatic corps, members of the National Assembly, members of the Federal Executive Council and other top government officials.
The heads of governments in their goodwill messages commiserated with the Federal Government and Nigerians on the Tuesday killing of schoolchildren in the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
They urged Nigerians to unite against terrorists, saying no nation could develop in an atmosphere of violence.