As Nigeria marks her Diamond Jubilee today, the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, has written a letter of felicitation to President Muhammadu Buhari emphasising that the bonds between Nigeria and Great Britain will flourish long into the future.
The Queen’s message, conveyed by the British High Commission in Nigeria, according to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, reads: “It gives me great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations on the 60th anni-versary of Nigeria’s Independence, together with my best wishes for your country’s continued happiness and pros-perity.
“The United Kingdom and Nigeria benefit from strong and enduring ties as Commonwealth partners through shared history and most important ly, our people. These are bonds that I hope and believe will flourish long into the future.”
Nigeria got her independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960.
On his part, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his goodwill message to Nigerians on the nation’s 60th Independ-ence Anniversary, said Nigerians should not allow the magnification of the country’s problems scare them.
“We should not allow unnecessary magnification of our problems by some people to shake our faith in the destiny of Nigeria,” he noted.
He also said the 9th National Assembly’s ongoing effort to amend the 1999 Constitution was to make the law book that of the Nigerian people.
In the special message titled, ‘Happy 60th Independence Anniversary’, he personally signed, the Senate President said democracy as being currently enjoyed by the country is a journey and not a destination.
He stated: “We should not allow unnecessary magnification of our teething problems by some people to shake our faith in the great destiny of our country.
“As has been said, democracy is a journey rather than a destination. National development too is always a work in progress that requires the patient and unconditional commitment of all patriots.
“We value our democracy and the rights it confers on us as citizens of a democratic nation. However, the expression of these rights need not be a clog in the wheel of our national unity, peace and development.
“Our democracy is a vehicle for the pursuit of our individual and collective aspirations. We all have roles to play to keep the vehicle roadworthy and fit for purpose.
“On our part as the legislature, we will continue to provide true representation to the Nigerian people and to strive to make their government work for them.
“In this regard, the ninth National Assembly is committed to having another look at our constitution, the grundnorm for our coexistence as a nation, with a view to making it a document of the Nigerian people.”
He urged Nigerians to take advantage of the constitution review opportunity by taking active part in the process.
“The overall objective of the periodic amendment of our laws is to make them keep pace with the changes that each epoch requires, strengthen the bond that keeps us together and to cement peace and progress in our beloved coun-try,” he added.
Deputy Senate president, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, in his own message, said the country has demonstrated unusual resilience in the face of many odds.
Omo-Agege, called on those agitating for the break-up of the country to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to make Nigeria a better place for the current and coming generations.
Although Senator Omo-Agege admitted that Coronavirus has ravaged the economies of the entire world, he was up-beat that Ni- geria will overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic.
The lawmaker urged Nigerians to keep praying for the continued peace and unity of the country.
Omo-Agege who doubles as chairman of Senate Adhoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution said, “To-day, in spi- te of our past and current challenges, we are alive to witness and celebrate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.
We Will Triumph Against All Odds – Gbajabiamila
Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, in his own congratulatory message to Ni-gerians expressed optimism that the coun- try will triumph against all odds.
The Speaker said the country had come a long way and has over- come many challenges in the past 60 years, noting that things are going to get better.
According to him, the nation is celebrating its indomitable spirit and collective determination to triumph against all the odds.
“Today, on our nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary, this is what we celebrate our indomitable spirit, our collective determination to triumph against all the odds,” he said.
The Speaker, in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Lanre Lasisi, eulogised and paid glow-ing tributes to Nigeria’s heroes, who made sacrifices for the country to become what it is today.
Amid the myriad of challenges, Gbajabiamila said Nigerians were the ones that will save the coun- try and help her to attain lofty heights.
He stated: “We all love our country Nigeria. Yet the truth is that our country has not always lived up to our expecta-tions, and sometimes, it is hard not to be overcome by despair about the fact of where we are and the perils on the horizon.
I want you to know that things are going to get better.
“I hold in my heart the abiding truth that there is nothing wrong with our country that cannot be fixed by what is right about our country – and there is nothing more righteous about Nigeria than its people.”
With Unity, Nigeria’s Diversity Is A Potential Tool – Wase
In the same vein, the deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Idris Wase, has called on Nigerians to seek for peace and unity among themselves to engender sustainable growth and development of the country.
According to Wase, with unity, Nigeria’s diversity is a potential tool to enhance massive development which could in turn make the nation the envy of its peers globally.
The deputy speaker, in a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Umar Muhammed Puma, said Nigeria could surmount its current problem if the citizens were united, adding that the country needs more unity now more than ever.
“As we celebrate the nation’s 60 independence anniversary today, I wish to congratulate all of us for witnessing this epoch making event.
“It is a thing of joy that in spite of all the challenges we have gone through, the nation is still one and we are part of this celebration,” he said.
Nigeria’s Golden Years Will Return Under PMB — APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC), in its goodwill message to Nigerians as the country marks 60th independence an-niversary, said that the country’s golden years will return under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party in a statement issu- ed yesterday by the deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, observed that despite what it called inherited and current challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari has made progress in many ar-eas of the country’s economic development.
“In spite of our inherited and current challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has made commend-able strides on so many fronts, most significantly the fight against graft, diversifying and revamping the economy, curbing insurgency and emerging crimes, promoting positive values in our national life, strengthening our democratic institutions and processes and achieving a respectable international standing,” the party said.
Acknowledging the efforts of the Armed Forces for fighting tirelessly for a united Nigeria, APC noted that the country is better than it was in the past.
It stated: “There is no doubt that Nigeria has made great national history and nationalistic history makers from her economic and political evolution in the last 60 years.
“As a nation, we are better than where we were and with determination, faith and commitment to our fatherland close to where we should be.
PDP Asks Citizens To Keep Hope Alive
On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its goodwill message to Nigerians on the occasion of the nation’s 60th independence anniversary, urged Nigerians to keep hope alive.
The party however expressed sadness that Nigerians are celebra- ting on a despairing mood due to the social, eco-nomic and security
challenges that have confronted the nation in the last five years but urged the citizens to keep hope alive and contin-ue to work for unity, stability and progress of the nation.
The party described as depressing that while the nation had at- tained lofty heights in all spheres of life since inde-pendence; such national attainments in economy, commerce, industry, education, healthcare, human capital and in-frastructural developments, living standards, democratic reforms and national cohesion have been eroded by the mis-rule of the last five years.
A statement by national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted: “It is indeed disheartening that whereas October 1 date signposts the sacrifices of our heroes past in the quest for national freedom as well as our collective determination to live harmoniously, engender good governance and succeed as one people under a demo-cratic rule, such pursuits have been undermined by five years of a divisive, repressive, retrogressive, corrupt and in-competent administration”.
Nigeria’s Future Depends On Our Commitment – Atiku
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in his own message, said Nigeria is in dire need of healing just as he decried the neglect of her youths.
Atiku in a statement he personally signed for the independence celebration said the nation may have missed count-less opportunities to reset its mindset moving forward as prosperous people, but that this 60th anniversary of the na-tion’s life offers introspection.
He noted: “The youths of Nigeria represent the future wealth of the fatherland and the only way we can tap into them is through quality investments in education and skills acquisition.
Trust God For Transformation, Catholic Bishops Urge Nigerians
On their part, Catholic Bishops under the auspices of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have called on Ni-gerians to put their trust in God for the transformation of Nigeria.
Most Rev Augustine Akubeze, President of Catholic Bishops Conference Nigeria in the Bishops’ independent message yesterday, also advised Nigerians that they must begin this transformation from within, from themselves.
Akubeze said that each Nigerian must learn to eschew every form of corruption, indiscipline, praising of corrupt lead-ers or giving of awards to those who have bankrupt Nigeria.
According to the Bishops, Nigerians must stop the praise-singing of politicians who have failed the nation. “We must stop patronising mediocrity.
We must begin to reward hard work. To survive as a nation, we must have a collective desire to build the country,” the Bishops said.
“Selective appointments that do not reflect the ethnic and religious diversity of Nigeria is a recipe for disaster. The minimalistic approach to the quota system is a disservice to the nation.
“Any serious government would want every part of the nation to know that they are part of the stakeholders in deci-sion making in the country.
Nigerians are not asking for too much; they are just asking for justice, fairness in appointments of people to federal offices.”
The Bishops said that ordinarily, Nigeria as a nation should be rejoicing on this occasion of the diamond jubilee of Nige-ria’s independence, but cannot celebrate because many Nigerians cannot afford to eat.
“How can we celebrate when we watch daily, the killings of Nigerians by the insurgents? How can we celebrate when Boko Haram is still holding some of the Chibok girls, and Leah Sharibu is still being held captive for over three years be-cause she refuses to denounce Christ?
“How can we celebrate when COVID-19 has crippled an already poor Nigerian economy? How do we celebrate when the federal government, without any prior clear warning, allows the epileptic electricity supply tariff to be increased and at the same time removing the fuel subsidy?
Joining the league of those felicitating with Nigerians on this auspicious occasion is Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Mu-hammadu Inuwa Yahaya.
The governor in his goodwill message to the President Muhammadu Buhari, the good people of Gombe State and Ni-gerians in general on the occasion of the country’s Diamond Jubilee, said reminded the people of the sacrifice of the nation’s founding fathers.
“For us in Gombe State it is a double celebration as we mark Gom- be at 24 and Nigeria at 60,” he said
“Today we remind ourselves of the sacrifice of our heroes past and the essence of good and exemplary lea- dership in building a nation of our dream.”
To Excel Everybody Must Own Development Process – Gov Badaru
Also, Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State said for Nigeria to attain the dream of its funding fa-ther’s, everybody must own and work in the development process.
The governor, who made the remarks in an interview with journalist in his office, maintained that, even though the country is better now than 60 years back, much is expected from every good citizen for the country to excel in the global community.
He said, the progress made by the country in the last 60 years in terms of quality life improvement is appreciable and there is a cause to celebra- te the journey so far.
Oyetola Sues For Peace, Unity, Perseverance
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, in his goodwill message to Nigerians and the people of Osun State on the nation’s 60th Inde- pendence Anniversary, the governor in a statement by his chief press secretary, Ismail Omipidan called on the citizens to continue to live in love and apply dialogue at these challenging times to “achieve the desired peace, unity, national integration and prosperity that we desire as a nation.”
The governor who said the ability of the nation to latch on its shared values and collective will to defeat and survive the vagaries of a civil war, political impasse, insecurity issues and economic upheavals in the past and stay together is indicative of its capacity to waddle through the present challenges and achieve its vision and destiny.
Let’s Build A Nation Of One People, One Destiny – Sen Mark
Former president of the Senate, Senator David Mark, in his own message to Nigerians, urged the political class to re-view critically the underlying concerns of Nigerians believed to be aggravating agitations, ethno-religious conflicts and insecurity in the country.
Such concerns he pointed out includes restructuring, unemployment, income inequalities, imbalance in the distribu-tion of social amenities, perceived marginalisation and inadequate infrastructures among others.
In the message signed by his media aide, Mr Paul Mumeh yesterday Senator Mark stressed that the road map to Nige-ria’s development is to identify and genuinely address those ills militating against it.
“Until the issues agitating Nigerians are addressed in a manner that gives every citizen security and a sense of belong-ing, the quest for peace, unity and development may just be a mirage“, Senator Mark stated.
Greater efforts, he stressed needs to be devoted towards bringing Nigeria back to the path of rectitude and sanity away from the wanton profligacy and impunity.
In spite of the challenges of our diversity, Senator Mark believes that “It is in our collective interests to support and remain steadfast to the cause of a united nation as our strength remains in our diversity.”