Nigeria At 59: National Leaders Speak

As Nigeria celebrates her 59th independent anniversary today, Some prominent Nigerians and National leaders have congratulated Nigerians on the country’s celebrations while charging all citizens to put in their best on nation building.


Former President Goodluck Jonathan

The former president called on Nigerians to renew their faith in Nigeria and work towards achieving prosperity and greatness for the citizens.

In a goodwill message, Jonathan urged Nigerians not to despair in the face of current challenges, but to reflect on the achievements of past heroes and draw inspiration from them.

His statement read: “Fifty-Nine years ago, we walked into the road of political freedom when the Union Jack was lowered and the Green-White-Green Flag hoisted as the symbol of our sovereignty.

“Citizens sang for joy, with heartbeats of hope and eyes flooded with a new vision of liberty and justice.

“In these past decades, we have lived with the mixed reality of abundance and lack, peace and conflict, hope and despair. Despite the challenges, we have kept faith in the strength of our unity and stood firmly to uphold Nigeria’s honour and glory. It is for this spirit, that we have always emerged stronger in the face of trials.

“No matter the troubles that challenge our glory, we must not despair. Fellow Nigerians, let us strengthen faith in our country and work together towards a prosperous nation.”

Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

The former vice-president and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said all was not well with Nigeria.

He called on all lovers of Nigeria, not to rely only in prayers, but take urgent steps to ensure that the ideals of the founding fathers were not sacrificed on the altar of tyranny.

Atiku also called for defence of the Nigerian constitution, noting that the dreams of the nation’s founding fathers were under threat.

The message read in part: “My dear citizens of Nigeria, I could go with the flow and the cliché and say all is well with Nigeria, but as the late Chinua Achebe once wrote, ‘when an adult is in the house, the she-goat is not left to suffer the pain of parturition on its tether.’

“I could call for prayers, as others would indeed call for today. I could also call on Nigerians to show more understanding, as indeed many have said in the past and will undoubtedly say again today.

“But I am mindful of the fact that the time for rhetoric has long since passed and now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers – unity and faith, peace and progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.”

Ex-Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu

‘I congratulate Nigerians on the occasion of the 59th Independence Anniversary celebration. Ekweremadu I also share the serious concern among Nigerians over growing insecurity in the land today. But I believe that the difference between security at independence and today is mainly in the security architecture.

We have moved from decentralised policing with national, sub-national, and local policing services to unitary policing owned and controlled solely by the Federal Government. Whereas the plan by the FG to introduce community policing gives an impression of shifting of ground, I doubt that such effort without first decentralising policing to allow states, which can afford it, to set up their own police services, can take us anywhere.

It is like putting the cart before the horse and the result is very predictable. Whereas I can easily dust up the Bill for the Establishment of State Police with provisions against any form of abuse, which I sponsored along with some of my colleagues in the 8th Senate, I believe that there is first a serious need for the political will and change in mindset to ensure that the Bill succeeds.

Importantly, I call on leaders at all levels of governance to rededicate themselves to an egalitarian society marked by justice for all, including an equitable distribution of opportunities and amenities, as a sure way of securing peace and unity among our citizens. I wish Nigerians a hitch-free independence celebration and a happy new month. God bless.’

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi

Fayemi, in a goodwill message in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday congratulated the people of Ekiti State on the 23rd anniversary of the creation of the state. The Governor urged Ekiti natives, both home and abroad, to join hands with the government in repositioning the state as a destination of choice for living and for investments.

Dr. Fayemi said the present administration “is laying a strong foundation for all-round development of the state, focusing on its five pillars of development and through huge investments in knowledge economy, urban, agricultural, industrial and human capital development.” Noting that the various policies of the administrations have started to yield positive results with the attendant boost in the quality of life of the average citizen, Governor Fayemi said he was confident that the state and its people would return to the frontline.

Governor Fayemi said: “I congratulate Nigerians on the country’s 59th independence anniversary, and I urge all to remain steadfast in our collective effort to make the country a better place for us all. “Similarly, I felicitate with Ekitikete on the 23rd anniversary of the creation of our dear state. We may not have attained all that we would love to attain.

But we can look back and give thanks to God for how much he has helped us. “Mention must also be made of the efforts made by successive administrations to develop the state as well as the leadership that has been provided by all the former chief executives of the state. “The task of rebuilding and repositioning the state is a collective effort and through your cooperation, we shall build a truly prosperous state and put our state firmly on the path of honour and irreversible development,” the statement added.

Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, urged policy makers to make the welfare of Nigerians a top priority in the policy thrust of the government.

Acknowledging the contributions of heroes and heroines of Nigeria’s liberation, including Sir Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Chief Herbert Macaulay and Chief Obafemi Awolowo to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria, Kalu also charged Nigerians to support government at all levels for the sake of national wellbeing.

Kalu, who stressed that the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of Nigeria should be seen as an asset for nation building, pointed out that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable.

He also said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government was desirous of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

“As we mark Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary, we must reflect on the past in a bid to build a prosperous nation.

“Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources and as such, Nigerians deserve a good standard of living. The government and the governed must support each other in building a Nigeria of our dream.

“Every nation has its own challenges and Nigeria is not an exception. However, the onus is on leaders at all levels to embrace the tenets of democracy anchored on good governance. The challenges facing the country will evaporate if all and sundry play their respective roles with utmost sincerity.”

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Akeredolu had declared that the country was still faring well in spite of its various challenges.

The governor said many countries had disintegrated with half of the challenges being faced by Nigeria but the country was still together, moving on.

Akeredolu stated this on Sunday, at a church service to mark Nigeria’s 59th anniversary held at The Redeemed Christian Church of God at Oke-Ijebu Akure, the state capital

Represented by his deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, the governor said, “In spite of all the challenges we have faced as a people, it has pleased God to allow us to remain as one indivisible entity. As we all know, some countries whose challenges were not as daunting as ours have disintegrated.”

Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde

Makinde called on Nigerians to rise as compatriots and serve their fatherland conscientiously in any position they may find themselves.

He made the call on Sunday during a thanksgiving service at St. Peters Anglican Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan.

Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, the governor noted that if Nigeria would move from poverty to prosperity, all hands must be on deck.

In his sermon titled, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation,” The Very Reverend Andrew Adebiyi of the Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, maintained that Nigeria could only be prosperous with righteous leaders and followers.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun

In his message called on Nigerians to support the Federal Government with prayers and work with President Muhammadu Buhari to end insurgency and other insecurity challenges .

The governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said Nigeria had all it would takes to be a great nation.

Abiodun said: “I call on Nigerians to support the present administration with prayers and work with President Buhari to end insurgency and other fault-lines that divide us as one indivisible and united country.

“I pray that the country would witness prosperity, peace and progress.

“It was a divine mandate that the President won this year’s presidential election and his efforts so far justifies the confidence reposed on him.”