60th Independence: We must do nothing to hurt our unity, Abiodun appeals to Nigerians

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Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta.

Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Thursday, urged Nigerians, particularly the people of the state to reject any call that would hurt the unity of the country saying that the country would soon emerge as a beautiful bride from her myriad of challenges.

Gov Abiodun made this appeal in his address delivered at the event commemorating the 60th anniversary celebration of Nigeria’s independence, held at the Arcade Ground of the state secretariat in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Emphasising that whatever pains and inconveniences characterising the nation now are prelude to a better tomorrow for all Nigerians and the incoming generations, Abiodun also declared that the President Muhammad Buhari led administration is sincere in it’s policies and programmes that will reposition Nigeria in the comity of nations.

The governor also admonished Nigerians to focus more on those things that unite the citizens together rather than on those that have the divisive tendencies as a nation, stressing that “we have done it before at different times of our national trials and we can do it again”.

“That Nigeria has the potentials to become one of the biggest economies of the world is not debatable. In fact, at 60, we should not be talking about how our nation will become a world power. We should be talking about how to consolidate our world status. We have all the human and natural resources to make us a world power.

“Even if we need to tweak the structure of our Federal system to make it respond to the needs of our current realities and that of the federating units, we can ill-afford the dismemberment of our great nation. The indomitable Nigerian spirit in us will see us through. Let us release the eagle in us to fly above the storm”.

“All we need to do is to bring our collective will to harness our potentials. We must also accept that development is a process. We must also know that the process has a cost. The good news is that the cost is not expensive. All we have to pay is our collective patience to see the process through a logical conclusion”.

“We will have to make painful but necessary decisions. The failure of the past in taking these decisions is what led us to where we are today and the situation we find ourselves. It is therefore very imperative that we summon courage now, and pool our shared will to take these tough decisions for the good of the present generation and building a strong foundation on which incoming generations can build. Just as the labours of our heroes past can never be in vain, that is the only way our own labour will not be in vain”.

“We must continue to work for the peaceful coexistence of all, irrespective of language, religion, ethnic nationality, places and circumstances of birth or societal status. Let me reiterate once again that the choice of the theme for this Nigeria’s Diamond jubilee anniversary, “Together Shall We Be”, is very instructive. Together, we shall continue to make Nigeria greater”.

“The future of our great Nation is promising and very magnificent to imagine. But, sacrifices have to be made. Let me say that the pains and inconveniences we currently experience due to the current situation of our economy are short-term and are, in fact, a prelude to a better tomorrow for all of us, our country and the incoming generations”.

“The naysayers may have complained of the same admonitions made in the past without results. But, the difference is that we now have a federal government with a leadership that is sincere in its policies and programmes. It is on record that since suffering a recession and a full year of negative growth in the recent past, Nigeria’s economy has recovered slowly but steadily”.

Abiodun added that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari is committed towards ensuring that the country does not go back into recession with its deliberate policies at ensuring the recovery of the economy, quoting the data from the National Bureau of Statistics which stated that the economy continued to grow despite the global pandemic ravaging all around.

He however, maintained that his state would not but continued to celebrate the oneness of Nigeria due to the roles played by its sons and daughters in the past towards the development of the country.

“Our founding fathers bequeathed  to us, a solid foundation with great hopes. We owe it to them to keep Nigeria together as a united, strong and prosperous nation. In this lies the full realisation of our potentials as the largest collection of black race on earth”.

“Without being immodest, Ogun state has more reasons than others to celebrate the independence and continued unity of Nigeria. Their labour will never be in vain and their sacrifices will never be forgotten! The fact remains irrefutable that at every crossroads in the annals of our Nation’s socio-political development, proud ambassadors of Ogun state have been the compasses leading us the right way”.

“It is on record that the first ever military to civilian political transition in Nigeria was mid-wifed by General Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR in 1979; the same Olusegun Obasanjo came to Nigeria’s rescue in 1999 to usher in our present democracy. History will also not forget him as he mid-wifed the first ever successful civilian-to-civilian transition in 2007”.

“We should also not forget the roles of Chief Ernest Shonekan, GCFR as the leader of the Interim National Government after the impasse of the June 12, 1993 General Elections. That election on its own stands as a watershed in Nigeria’s electoral history. It has been adjudged as a signpost of free and fair elections in Nigeria. And, the winner of that election is another son and icon of Ogun state, the Late Chief MKO Abiola, GCFR”.

“In fact, the uninterrupted democratic rule we currently enjoy in the last 21 years speaks volume that we are strong, vibrant and United Nation under God. Indeed, our diversity in tribes and tongues remain our biggest strength. For this alone, we have every cause to celebrate”.