In 1914, the Southern Nigeria Protectorate was combined with the Northern Nigeria Protectorate to create the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, which has the borders of modern-day Nigeria. By the late 1950s, the call for independence of territories in Africa and the decline of the British Empire led to the country being granted independence on 1 October 1960 as the Federation of Nigeria. Three years later, the constitution was amended and the country was declared the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Nnamdi Azikiwe, previously Governor-General, as the first President.
First independence day
In 1960, Lieutenant David Ejoor, who later became the Chief of Army Staff, had the honor of commanding the guard at the midnight flag raising ceremony.
The holiday is celebrated annually by the government of Nigeria. The festivities begin with the President’s address to the people, which is broadcast on radio and television. There are also celebrations across all sectors in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the workforce and national education services. For instance, the primary and secondary schools perform a ceremonial marchpast in various state capitals and local government areas where they are located. The streets are filled with celebrations as individuals and groups troupe to the streets wearing green-white-green. Offices and markets are closed in Nigeria on the 1 October.