with a population of about 2,500,000, but the government recently moved the capital to Abuja.
Nigeria became an independent nation on October 1, 1960, and a republic in 1963, with a federal structure and three regional governments based on the compass points of north, east, and west. A fourth region the Midwest, was later added.
Much has been said and written about Nigeria, its people and culture, economy and politics; that sheds light on the tremendous potential of this African country.
However, little is known to the outside world about the many exciting places available in Nigeria: Historic sites, nestled amid rivers and rain forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, remote creek villages, miles of pristine beaches and exotic national wildlife reserves. There are also museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural mélange right down to everyday traditional markets. These are just some of the spectacular sights and sensual delights waiting in Nigeria.
The celebration of its National Day was a colourful evening at the Gran Meliá Caracas Hotel, as beautiful and warm as its people and land. There was an immense display of national pride, and even the African guests were using their resplendent typical costumes.
A great exhibition of fruits was offered as an appetizer, and various exquisite fish composed the main courses.
We could feel the joy of every guest who shared this day with the Nigerian people.
By Luisa Osorio
Special to The Journal
Photos by José Antonio León