Thousands of people from all walks of life yesterday thronged the Alhaji Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, Northern regional capital to witness the first ever National Independence Day parade.
As early as 5am, many people had already secured seats at the stadium waiting patiently for the start of the historic event.
The 62nd Independence Day Parade under the theme, ‘Celebrating peace and unity’, was the first time an independence celebration has been held outside the capital, Accra, and everyone wanted to be part of it.
It was not surprising therefore, that the 29,000 seating capacity stadium was full to capacity before 8am.
All paramount chiefs in the region including the overlords of Dagbon, Yaa-Naa Abukari Mahama, Nayiri Naa Bohugu Mahami Sheriga and Yogbowura Sulemana Jakpa were present at the historic event.
Also in attendance were Moin-Lana Abdulai Mahammudu and Yo-Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani.
The security personnel stationed at various gates were forced to close the gates few minutes past 8am leaving many people stranded outside the stadium.
Those who could not gain access to the stadium were far more than those inside.
The large crowd who had gathered in the stadium were never disappointed as they were thrilled by the contingent of the security forces and school children.
There was frenzy, ecstasy and excitement as the security personnel displayed various skills of acrobatics, particularly the Army Forces training personnel who exhibited high skills to the admiration of all in the stadium.
The crowd could not hide their joy and excitement as they kept applauding them throughout the period.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his special guest, Nigerien President Maamadu Issoufou, and other important dignitaries were seen applauding in admiration of the display by the contingent.
Earlier in the day, the beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) businesswomen and some groups from the six newly created regions in the country also added colour to the beautiful ceremony.
The cultural troupes from Dagbon and the Kokombas entertained the crowd with beautiful dances which portrayed the rich culture of the people of the region.
As many as 20 personnel from various security forces were seen falling especially during the parade.
In all, 12 schools from the Tamale metropolis and Sangnarigu municipality and 602 security personnel from various securities took part in the parade.
FROM YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED,TAMALE.