As the nation marks its 54th independence anniversary, political office holders, yesterday, called for peace and unity, warning Nigeria to refrain from taking steps that would create inter-ethnic tension or compound the security challenges currently facing the country. It is their unanimous view that the country would emerge great and indivisible from its present socio-economic challenges.
Senate President David Mark urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in promoting peace and unity no matter the challenges, just as he pronounced Nigeria a country destined for greatness.
He said the indivisibility of the nation is not negotiable because there is no better place than Nigeria, recalling the nation’s chequered political history since 1960, during which Nigeria went through a 30-month fratricidal civil war and various ethno-religious conflicts. He assured that the current crises are surmountable.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, urged Nigerians to work tirelessly to promote tenets of democracy, good governance and responsible citizenry.
In a statement to mark Nigeria’s Independence Day anniversary issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal appealed to the political elite to moderate their utterances and be mindful of their responsibility to the country.
He said with elections scheduled for early 2015, all leaders must avoid acts that heat up the polity.
Similarly, the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) expressed optimism over the continued existence of Nigeria as against speculations of its imminent collapse.
Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu said despite the level of mistrust and escalating hate across religious and ethnic divides on account of politics and interest-induced violence in parts of the country, Nigeria can still chart a direction from the present turbulence to its rightful position as a country on its way to social, economic and political prosperity.
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, urged Nigerians to celebrate Independence despite security challenges.
According to the governor, the Independence Day should be a celebration of Nigerians’ resilience in its journey to nationhood. He noted that Nigerians have stood strong in forging ahead as one indivisible entity.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State re-echoed Jang when he enjoined all Nigerians to continue to believe in the unity of the country and resist the attempts by certain political leaders to use religion and other ethnic considerations to divide them, with the aim of achieving their personal goals.
His Enugu State counterpart, Governor Sullivan Chime expressed optimism that Nigeria will attain greatness despite challenges on her way.
Chime, therefore, called on Nigerians to use the occasion of the nation’s 54th Independence anniversary to embrace a new spirit of patriotism, sacrifice and commitment towards strengthening the unity and socio-economic and political well being of the country.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State too is upbeat about the chances of the nation to survive and achieve greatness.
“Nigeria is destined to survive as one of the greatest and prosperous nations of the world,” Governor Ahmed predicted.
Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, says Nigeria would overcome all her challenges if all her citizens are united, jettison ethnic, religious and political differences.
Orji, in a statement to felicitate with Nigerians on the country’s 54th Independence Anniversary, noted that the current security and other challenges confronting the country would be a thing of the past “if all citizens and ethnic nationalities, political parties and religious bodies see Nigeria as one and indivisible entity.”