Mrs Billura Bernard, Chairperson of the Azerbaijan Association Organisation in Nigeria on Sunday announced the readiness of many Nigerians to join in the celebration of Azerbaijan’s 100th democratic anniversary in Lagos.
Bernard told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the decision to hold a first official celebration in Lagos was to strengthen the cultural exchanges between Azerbaijanis and Nigerians.
According to her, many Nigerians have already indicated their readiness to participate in the celebration, scheduled to hold at the MUSON Centre in Lagos on June 9.
“For the first time, we are going to publicly and officiallycelebrate Azerbaijan’s 100th democratic anniversary in Lagos.
“We will be celebrating this anniversary with our Nigerian friends and we are going to be introducing more of some Azerbaijani cuisines to them as part of the celebration.
“We have invited Azerbaijani artistes, pianists and traditional instrumentalists to come and perform with some Nigerian tenor and soprano artistes in a concert at the MUSON Centre at Onikan.
Bernard said that the concert, which is being organised by Azerbaijani and Nigerian artistes, is meant to further promote cultural exchanges between the two countries and to celebrate the anniversary,’’ she said.
The association’s chairperson said that although the anniversary would be celebrated in her country on May 28th, the celebration in Lagos would hold on June 9.
She said that there was currently a growing number of Nigerians working, doing business and studying in Azerbaijan, as well as Azerbaijanis living in Nigeria.
On May 28, 1918, Azerbaijan declared its independence establishing the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which became the first secular parliamentary democracy in the Muslim World and is recognised by other democratic nations, including the United States of America.
During their short period of independence, Azerbaijan granted all people the right to vote, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion, becoming the first Muslim nation to give women equal political rights with men, an accomplishment preceding the United States.
Azerbaijan’s independence was interrupted in 1920, when it was invaded by the Bolshevists, and forcefully incorporated into the USSR in 1922, but was able to restore its independence only in 1991.