In March this year, the tallest national flag pole in the country and the second tallest in Africa at a 50-metre high was hoisted in the premises of the Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Ltd in Faru village in Birnin Kudu Local Government Area. With this feat, Nigeria has effectively joined the leagues of countries that have erected long national flag poles
A national flag is a symbol of every nation’s sovereignty and one of the items of authority, for those in power, and pride for the generality of the citizens. Its erection in public places and other premises signifies both authority and patriotism.
However, taking this sense of pride and patriotism further, countries around the world give auspicious displays by hoisting the flags on specially erected poles of significant length. This serves as a statement and as an invitation for tourists to visit and admire.
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The tallest of such conspicuous flags is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with a pole that is 170 metres high. It is followed by the ones in Dushambe, Tajikistan with 165-metre long pole; Baku, Azerbaijan with a 162-metre long flag pole.
Others include Ashagabat, Turkmenistan with 133 metre long flag pole; Aqaba, Jordan with 131-metre long flag pole; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, (UAE) with 122-metre flag pole, Sheboygan, United States of America with 120-metre long pole as well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with a 100-metre long flag pole.
On the African continent, it is only South Africa’s Donkin Reserve flag pole with a height of 68 metres. In March, this year, the tallest national flag pole in the country and the second tallest in Africa, at 50-metre high, was hoisted in the premises of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Ltd, in Faru village in Birnin Kudu local government area. With this feat, Nigeria has effectively joined the leagues of countries that have erected long national flag poles
The journey to West African tallest flag pole
With a mind of replicating similar spectacle, a notable politician and businessman, Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu set out to host the tallest pole to hoist a Nigerian flag. The place he chose to locate this giant personal project was his farm located in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State.
Speaking when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visited the farm recently to see for himself, Aliyu said his decision to erect the second tallest national flag pole in the continent of Africa was to solidify the nation’s unity and inspire patriotism among Nigerians.
The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives said he envisioned that the project will further unite the country and make the people believe in it.
“We are convinced that this national flag project will enhance our collective pride, unwavering faith and hope in the future of our great nation, Nigeria, as it will strengthen and promote sense of unity amongst all tribes and nations in Nigeria.”
Besides, he said, it would drive civic engagement among the citizenry and inspire a sense of national pride in all Nigerians.
“This flag’s visibility will span a 5-kilometre radius. Its location and existence will serve as a focal point for the promotion of unity and peaceful co-existence amongst all tribes and sub-nations in Nigeria.
“I look forward to this flag becoming a convergence point for national events such as Independence Day celebration, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration and other significance national events. It is our hope that it will become a veritable tool for steering up national reawakening amongst the teeming populace in Nigeria.”
The flag pole project started in October 2019 with the engineering design by Planet Projects Limited (PPL). Despite being slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company pushed the project through the 8-metre deep foundation, fabricating the reinforced flag pole pipe and hoisting the flag in March. The flag itself is 10×20 metre in dimension, tied with special ropes and hooks. Due to the unusual height, the engineers attached a pilot light at the zenith to alert passing aircraft.
A possible national monument
Though not his first time of visiting Jigawa State on an official engagement, the working tour of the state by the Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed would go down in history as one of the memorable one, not only to the minister himself, but to the state.
According to the minister, “The visit is a double barreled one, aimed at showcasing success in agriculture as well as in tourism. Farouk, as they say, has used one stone to kill two birds. Not only in showcasing success in agriculture, he is also helping in making Jigawa State a choice destination for tourism by erecting the tallest flag pole in the country.”
His words, “Normally, national flags are hoisted by government officials, but that the tallest flag is hoisted by an individual is a clear demonstration of the deep sense of nationalism and patriotism and this is worthy of emulation.”
He, therefore, urged Aliyu to approve for the federal government to include the flag in the list of national monuments and international visitors.”
On the minister’s entourage were five chief executives of parastatals under the ministry, including the Directors-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, (FRCN), Mansur Liman; Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA) Yakubu Ibn Mohammed; National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Garba Abari; the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), and the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, (NCMM), Prof. Abba Isa Tijani.
For Governor Badaru Abubakar, though this is not his first time of the minister’s visiting, the uniqueness of this latest visit to Jigawa of Mohammed was that it was the first time he would be visiting any state with such a large retinue of chiefs executives of parastatals and agencies of his ministry in recent memory, an indication of his special attachment to the progress and development of the state.
The governor added, “The fact that the flag pole was designed by a Yoruba engineer, erected with the support of an Igbo man and hoisted and sponsored by a Hausa/Fulani man is aimed at spurring Nigerians to develop the right values and nation building ethos, noting that Nigeria has both human and material resources, which if harnessed along with national patriotism, unity and love, the country would be the happiest society for all.”
Mohammed, who had earlier visited the palace of the Emir of Dutse, Muhammad Nuhu Sanusi on a courtesy visit, acceded to the request by the royal father for the modernization of the museum located in his palace to make it more enriching. The monarch argued that, when renovated, the museum would further promote the cultural heritage of the emirate, Jigawa state and the country at large.
The minister announced the federal government’s desire to convert the Dutse Museum and the tallest flag pole, converting them into national monuments, saying, when converted, he said the two edifices would put the state not only on world map, but would put attract visitors from all parts of the country and beyond. He, therefore, directed the DGs of NCMM and NTDC to immediately open a discussion with relevant stakeholders with a view to facilitating a smooth engagement of those monuments.
The NOA boss said the agency was committed to propagating “this symbolic act of patriotism” by Farouk Aliyu, while the NCMM DG boss in complying with the ministerial directive assured that not only would the Museum in Dutse Emir’s palace be remodelled, but that the agency would build a monument around the tallest flag pole in Alu Farm in Birnin Kudu as part of the tourism development in the state.