No fewer than 400 Indians in Nigeria on Monday engaged in different forms of physical exercise like yoga, aerobics, dance, running and cultural performance to commemorate India’s 75 years of independence.
The programme tagged, “Run 4 Unity”, held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island.
The President of the Afro Asian Initiative for Community Development (AAICD), Mr Sanjay Srivastava, said that the programme was the initiative of the Indian Government to celebrate the nation’s history, culture, achievements and its people.
Srivastava noted that the celebration is known in India as, “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”
He urged Indians to ensure unity as a weapon to achieve remarkable growth.
“This celebration is dedicated to the people of India, who have not only been instrumental to bringing India this far in its evolutionary journey but also hold the power to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of realising self reliance in every Indian.
“I congratulate every Indian here today as we look forward to more years of celebration,” he said.
Zenith Bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, congratulated the Indian community.
Onyeagwu said that the theme of the programme was apt as it focused on unity, adding that nations across the world must learn to live in unity and harmony at this trying times.
“This means so much to me because unity is what will create harmony in the entire world, looking at what is happening globally. We need no other thing than unity. So, I thank you for picking a unifying theme, relevant to humanity.
“I am happy to support what the Indian community is doing in promoting entrepreneurship, manufacturing, creating employment and generating revenue for government.
“In the business environment, I am happy to see a number of you who are successful.
“Once again, thank you for those years of living in oneness, togetherness and unity with Nigerians.”
Also, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), said the event was very significant considering the historical, cultural and economic ties between the two nations.
Osaghae noted that the entire nations of the world must learn that unique element of living in unity in the face of diversities, peculiar to Nigerians and Indians.
“We congratulate the government and good people of India on this occasion, we also look forward to stronger relations between the two countries.
“I am excited to hear the young Indians render Nigerian anthem, this tells us that we can do more together if we stay united.
“At this time, with the crisis in Ukraine, the world needs peace, unity and harmony,” he said.
Mr Ajay Sharma, Head Chancery, Office of the High Commission of India in Lagos, urged individuals from both nations to work tirelessly in ensuring unitynan.