Governor of Plateau State Simon Lalong has challenged Nigerians to rally together and defend the nation’s democracy from forces that seek to create instability and chaos by putting national interest above personal or group interests.
The governor spoke at an interdenominational church service to mark his second year in office held at the Government House Chapel, Rayfield Jos.
Governor Lalong admitted that the democratic journey since the return to civilian rule 22 years ago has not been easy, but there is hope that the nation will overcome its current challenges.
He said, “This special day reminds us that it is an occasion we should cherish and also use to rebuild our confidence and patriotism in Nigeria. The task of building the nation is a collective one which all of us must partake in. There is no doubt that Nigeria is facing many challenges today ranging from insecurity, unemployment, poverty and unity.”
According to him, these are not problems that began yesterday but an accumulation of journey to nationhood, adding that Nigerians should never give up on the nation or make negative confessions about its destiny.
Lalong further said that despite the seemingly overwhelming difficulties of today, Nigerians must rise to the occasion both as leaders and citizens to advance practicable solutions and play active roles in resolving the dark cloud of uncertainty.
He said this was not the time to sit and throw blames at one another, but be focused on the task of building a stronger, united and virile Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the guest preacher and executive secretary Christian Pilgrims Commission Reverend Yakubu Pam took his reading from Mathew 26:36-46. He said Nigeria would continue to experience divine protection and deliverance through its most difficult challenges.
He referred to the pain and trauma that Jesus faced on his way to the cross of Calvary to redeem mankind from sin, saying such fear did not stop him from fulfilling his mission. Nigerians according to him should follow the example of Christ and not lose hope in the face of today’s difficulties.
In the same vein, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Plateau State, Reverend Father Polycarb Lubo in a goodwill message said the 22 years of unbroken democracy has brought about many opportunities for popular participation and contribution to good governance.