The First Lady, Senator Remi Tinubu and some state governors have expressed the optimism that Nigeria will certainly overcome its present socioeconomic, political and security challenges.
In separate goodwill messages to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary yesterday, Mrs Tinubu, governors of Kano, Bauchi, Enugu, Rivers and others asserted that Nigeria would be great again.
The president’s wife said Nigeria’s journey to abundance has begun and to be part of the greatness that God has started in the nation, the citizens must look beyond their current realities and embrace hope anew.
She spoke at the Independence Day Interdenominational thanksgiving service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
In a statement by her media aide, Busola Kukoyi, she urged Nigerians to thank, praise and worship God, for His faithfulness and love.
“There is no challenge, obstacle, or difficulty that we cannot overcome or surmount if we imbibe the nature of Christ who said in Matthew 11: 28; come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest with your souls.
Also yesterday, President Bola Tinubu joined by Vice President Kashim Shettima led the nation’s service chiefs and other top government functionaries as well as members of the diplomatic corps among others to mark the country’s 63rd independence anniversary in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The event which was held in the State House was not without pomp and pageantry, as guests were treated to a potpourri of military drills, including a silent display, colourful parade and a presidential change of guards performed by officers and men of the Brigade of Guards.
The highpoints during the no-speech-making ceremony, witnessed the signing of the anniversary register by the president.
Tinubu cut the anniversary cake as well as released the anniversary pigeons to symbolise peace.
In his message, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State reiterated the resolve of his administration to provide a quality and smart education system which would be driven by information and communication technology.
He said the state government was on course to bettering the lots and welfare of teachers through prompt payments of emoluments, and commitment for integrated development in the state.
The governor, who stated this at the Michael Okpara Square, said the government’s policies on education were tailored towards achieving quality education that would be free for children in the state irrespective of their backgrounds.
Represented by the deputy governor of the state, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai, the governor pointed at the pilot model integrated smart school which was already on the verge of completion, with similar structures to be replicated across the 260 electoral wards in the state, noting that the schools would be driven by ICT facilities with uninterrupted electricity from renewable energy.
His Kano State counterpart Abba Kabir Yusuf however lamented the current situation in the country. He said the country ought to have been better than where it is and blamed it on the wrong choices made by some past leaders.
He spoke at the Independence Day celebration held at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
The governor, who praised Nigeria’s past heroes and patriots, expressed the need for sober reflection and focus towards building a better future for the country by reflecting on the past.
“These are the men and women who led the struggle that culminated into the declaration of independence of Nigeria 63 years ago.
“Our country, today, 63 years after independence has recorded some progress, but we ought to have done much better. Our founding fathers have laid the foundation for a nation on the principles of fairness, equity, justice and progress,” he said.
Also, Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara has called on the citizens to pray and support the federal government.
Fubara made the call yesterday at the Independence anniversary church service, held at the Saint Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Port Harcourt.
The governor said every Nigerian has a role to play in the building of a country of their dreams.
He also urged indigenes and those residing in the state to pray for his administration, so that God Almighty can take the state to the place they all desire.
Similarly, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State admonished Nigerians to use the event to reflect on the struggle and sacrifice of the founding fathers of the country and endeavour to ensure that their labour shall not be in vain.
He said, “It is gratifying to note that 63 years after independence, we have believed in the skepticism of our ability to govern ourselves. Today, we have shown to the world that, against all odds, we are not only able to govern ourselves, but are able to understand our differences, respect each other’s values and unite towards developing our country despite our diverse cultures.”
Mohammed in a message issued by his media aide, Mukhtar Gidado, recalled that like many other countries, Nigeria has in the process of its growth experienced a lot of turbulence in its 63 years of existence as an independent country.
He said, “We suffered serious setbacks in the political arena which seriously affected our political and economic growth. The long period of military involvement in the political spectrum of our country had seriously retarded the evolution of democracy and its inherent benefits.
“It is, however, gladdening that today democracy has found its roots in the country. The dividends of democracy are manifest and the citizens are happy. We in Bauchi State have taken a multi-dimensional approach to all the developmental projects which resulted in success all round, particularly in infrastructural development.”
The governor said he would redouble his effort and work harder to provide more dividends of democracy than he did during his first term.
According to him, there has been a spate of insecurity of recent in some parts of the State in the form of banditry and kidnapping. He said that they took measures in collaboration with security agencies to protect the lives and property of people by swiftly addressing any form of security challenge.
On the current hardship being experienced as a result of the withdrawal of subsidy on patrol is receiving the attention of both the Federal and State Governments through the provision of palliatives to cushion the effect of the hardship, he said already food and non-food items are being distributed to the most vulnerable people.