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Independence Day: ‘Nigeria Will Be Great Again,’ Akpabio, Abbas, Makinde, Sanwo-Olu Tell Nigerians

The Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio; the Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas; the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde; and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have assured Nigerians that the country would be great again.

In separate statements on Saturday to commemorate the country’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary, they noted that Nigeria had recorded many landmarks and urged compatriots at home and in the diaspora to support President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Akpabio, while acknowledging present challenges in the polity, said the nation’s achievements over the past 63 years gave a sense of optimism for a better tomorrow.

The Senate President noted the particular struggles that Nigeria has passed through as a country in that time, adding that each country has its unique path with unique challenges it must pass through.

PMS selling for ₦617 in Abuja in July 2023.

Affirming that the fabrics of national cohesion are increasingly being braced by the unique Nigerian struggles, Akpabio said he was confident to assert that Nigeria was now on the correct pathway to rediscovery.

“As we reminiscence on our 63 years as a country, it is tempting to allow present economic and security considerations to becloud the triumphs of our nationhood,” he said.

“I dare say that in several fields of endeavour, the world has reckoned and continues to reckon with Nigeria in business, politics, sports and the arts.

“Indeed, I must today salute Nigerian music and showbiz stars who have almost through sheer grit and grace taken the world stage with a number of individual accomplishments.”

“It is against this background that I call on Nigerians everywhere not to give up hope in the nation.”

Labour Strike Looms
Abbas, in an Independence Day statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Musa Krishi, on Saturday, called on fellow citizens and compatriots to keep hope in the country alive, saying said doomsayers and pessimists would soon be disappointed.

The Speaker assured the public that despite the myriad of challenges, the country still has the prospect and potential to reclaim its leadership position in the comity of nations, especially with its abundant human and natural resources.

He urged organised labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) to shelve the plan to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike from Tuesday over issues bordering on welfare.

According to Abbas, embarking on a nationwide indefinite strike at present would do the country no good. Rather, he said, it would only aggravate the situation at hand.

The Speaker urged organised labour to reason with the Federal Government and put the strike on hold by cooperating with the authorities so that all issues would be resolved amicably.

‘All Hands On Deck’
Makinde rallied Nigerians to dream and work for a better Nigeria, while calling on all citizens to look at the prospects, possibilities and opportunities of the country rather than the challenges.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sulaiman Olanrewaju, the governor said it was time to put the country first as he congratulated the President and all Nigerians on the occasion of the independence anniversary.

The governor added that all hands must be on deck in the task of rebuilding the country, noting that this remained the only way to make the country great.

Map of Nigeria
A map of Nigeria

“Our journey as a country has been tumultuous and challenging, but the possibilities and opportunities ahead outweigh the challenges that we face,” Makinde said.

“In the past, we mismanaged our diversity and our endowments. But the present presents a chance to right the wrongs of the past.

“So, rather than being overwhelmed by the challenges, we should be motivated by the prospects.”

‘Time To Reflect’
In a similar vein, Sanwo-Olu sought the support of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora for the President’s administration and all state governments in their efforts to birth what he called a new, prosperous Nigeria.

The Lagos State governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, also implored Nigerians to continue to live with one another in love, unity and peace, irrespective of their religious or ethnic differences.

He added that all the citizens’ support and encouragement were key to a better and prosperous Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Social Safety Net Programme Must Reflect Tinubu’s Sincerity, Sanwo-Olu Tells Betta Edu

FILES: Governor Sanwo-Olu welcomes President Bola Tinubu from London on June 27, 2023 in Lagos State. Photo: State House/Nosa Asemota

“Every October 1st is a time to reflect on the journey of our nationhood, to rededicate ourselves to the task of nation-building, and continue to work hard at building a formidable nation in Africa and the world at large,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He paid tribute to past and present heroes, founding fathers, nationalists, and those who have and continue to labour and sacrifice for the peace, unity, growth, and development of the country.

“As we celebrate our 63rd Independence Anniversary, I appeal to all Nigerians, particularly Lagos residents, to unite with renewed determination and commitment to move Nigeria and Lagos State forward against all odds,” he said.

“Let us continue to work together for peace in our dear Lagos State and Nigeria. Let us support President Bola Tinubu’s government to achieve his Renewed Hope agenda. Let our diversity be a source of strength and not a factor of disintegration.”

Oluwatobi Aworinde
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