Delegations from more than 30 African countries are in Lagos for the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of Nigeria's independence.
Delegations from more than 30 African countries are in Lagos for the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of Nigeria's independence. The week-long festivities began early today (1st October ) as a 21-gun salute boomed out over the capital.
President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania and the President of Upper Volta, General Sangoula Lamizana, were among the first African Heads of State to arrive. They were greeted by General Yakubu Gowon.
The four African countries which recognised the breakaway Biafran regime but have now been reconciled with the Federal Government are also represented at the celebrations.
General Gowon started the festivities by receiving a torch carried on a 3,000-mile (4,800 km ) tour of the country's 12 states and used it to light a "bowl on unity" which will burn with a perpetual flame as a symbol of a reunified Nigeria. Unity after the civil war is the theme of the rejoicing.
A colourful military tattoo was taking place today. But a sombre note has been introduced by the death of President Nasser and several leaders were forced to cancel their visit in order to attend the Egyptian leader's funeral.