Independence: Dogara, Mark, Ambode, Felicitates with Nigerians
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday, felicitated with Nigerians on the occasion of the country's 56 independence anniversary.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker said that despite the challenges and difficulties confronting Nigerians, there is every reason for the country to celebrate its independence anniversary.
He however noted that the current challenges are not insurmountable because with unity of purpose, commitment, sacrifice, hardwork and patriotism we shall overcome.
Dogara, who noted that while it may seem like all is bleak and gloomy at the moment, said "Nigerians will soon begin to smile in appreciation when fruits of the structures being put in place by the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari begin to manifest."
He called on all leaders, irrespective of political affiliation, to join in rebuilding the country for betterment of future generations.
Dogara, said that history has shown that many a nation have passed through even more tumultuous and difficult periods in their journey to greatness and nationhood but they overcame.
"Ours cannot be different and Nigeria's wont be an exception so long as we remain committed to building a prosperous and strong democratic nation where opportunities abound for all.
"Democracy offers nothing other than liberty and freedom for citizens to realise their God-given talents and potentials which can be harnessed into building a greater society.
"As leaders, we are ever ready to make the much needed and necessary sacrifice to help take the country out of the present recession and build a strong economy," he further said.
Dogara assured that the House of Representatives is alive to its responsibilities and committed to passing legislation that will help take the country out of the present economic recession.
A Nation Destined for Greatness — Mark
Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, on Saturday, took stock of Nigeria's chequered economic and Socio-political history since independence and submitted that in spite of the bottlenecks, the nation is destined for greatness.
Senator Mark, however, said that for the nation to achieve the greatness, there must be policy consistency saying that development in the country has been largely encumbered by inconsistencies in policy formulation and implementation.
He also called for love and unity of purpose among Nigerians irrespective of religious, political and ethnic affiliations, adding that such is the only way the nation can realize its full potentials with all the abundant human and natural resources.
Senator Mark recalled the ill-fated 30 months old Nigeria/Biafra fratricidal civil strife, the intermittent ethno-religious conflicts, the Boko Haram insurgency as well as the emergence of militant groups and canvassed for greater commitment and unity against all forms of violence and criminality in the land.
"If Nigeria has gone through all these travails and remain one indivisible country, there is indeed no challenge we cannot overcome if we jettison our differences and come together as one people with a common destiny and mission,” he stressed.
He appealed to those behind the current wave of insurgencies and militancy to have a rethink "because there is no other country they can call theirs if they destroy Nigeria. Whatever grievances or misgivings, resorting to violence is not an option because we have various organs or channels established to seek redress."
Lamenting the negative consequences of the security challenges in the country, Senator Mark said, "we have more reasons and gains to live together in peace than otherwise. No nation achieves greatness by incessant violence and infighting. We are not only wasting the lives of our compatriots but also destroying our commonwealth as a nation, because we are deploying our scarce national resources in fighting insurgents and militants instead of on developmental projects.
"Indeed, this is not the way to go. We have had enough of violence and bloodletting. It is time for us all to renew our bond of brotherhood and live harmoniously. We must all accept the challenge to chart a new course and make Nigeria a better place. Happily, democracy, which we all accept as the best form of government, offers opportunities for everyone to realize his or her potential because it is participatory and representative",
On the present economic recession, Senator Mark urged Nigerians not to despair but called on the Federal Government to look inwards for solution by, among others things, exploring opportunities in local industries, manufacturing and agriculture, with incentives for them to thrive.
He reasoned that such would create wealth by boosting investments and employments in critical sectors of the economy as well as ensuring food security in the land.
Senator Mark however, called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the nation and remain optimistic that Nigeria would come out of its challenges a united, stronger and more prosperous nation.
Ambode: We Must Unite to Rescue Our Economy
Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on his part, said there was no better time for Nigerians to unite to rescue the nation’s economy from the stranglehold of recession.
Ambode, who spoke at the Independence Parade held at the Police College Ground in Ikeja, said the fact that the nation has remained united despite visible challenges in the last 56 years of sovereignty was a lot to be thankful for.
He said the never say die spirit of resilience, resourcefulness and determination that Nigerians display to succeed in all spheres of human endeavour was well recognised and acknowledged all over the globe, saying that the nation has great potentials to rank among the most prosperous countries in the world.
The governor, who was represented at the parade by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, said, “I wish to use this opportunity to make a passionate appeal, more than ever before, that we must renew our belief in the Nigeria Project and play our parts diligently. At this trying and challenging time, we must aggregate our strength and be united in focus to rescue our economy from the stranglehold of recession.
“We all need one another to survive as no part of Nigeria can do it all alone and still wield or command the kind of influence that Nigeria currently enjoys in the comity of Nations. This is not a time to despair. It is a time to review our patriotic zeal and stand firm with our leaders at all levels in our collective efforts to make Nigeria work for all.”
Ambode said his pact with Lagosians to run an all-inclusive government and make lives more comfortable for everyone was not just a slogan, adding that in the last 16 months, his administration has demonstrated through its actions that it was a clear statement of commitment which it is determined to actualize within the shortest time possible.
“The government and people of Lagos State are delighted to join fellow compatriots across the nation in celebrating our nation’s 56th independence anniversary today.
“As we celebrate today, I enjoin all Lagosians to remain steadfast and hopeful for a better tomorrow. The future of our State is certainly brighter than anyone can imagine. Let us therefore forge a common front to defend our hard earned freedom by being purposeful, focused and disciplined. May the labour of our heroes past never be in vain,” the Governor said.
The Independence Parade featured March Past from the Nigerian Police, Military and other Para-military organizations as well pupils and students from various primary and secondary schools respectively.
Top government functionaries, senior military officers, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional as well as religious leaders were also in attendance.