President of the Senate, Senator David Mark
By our Correspondents
Mark Urges Nationalist Rebirth
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, Monday called on Nigerians, irrespective of their positions in the society to re-enact the indomitable and nationalist spirit of the nation’s founding fathers like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Ahmadu Bello, and several other nationalists, who envisaged a united, peaceful and a prosperous nation at the time of the country’s independence for the nation to make progress.
Mark, who spoke at a Special Church Service in Abuja, to mark the nation’s 52nd Independence anniversary, said: “What went wrong along the line is akin to a deviation of the set goals because subsequent leaders did not toe the same path. It is time Nigerians both the leaders and the led agree to reinvent the wheel and redirect our steps on the right path.”
Fashola Wants Nigerians to be Prayerful
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has urged Nigerians to be more patriotic and prayerful if the country must achieve her core objectives.
The governor gave the advice Monday at the Police College, Ikeja during the commemoration of Nigeria’s independence anniversary. He stressed that Nigerians need to be resolute and committed to the country’s national values.
After inspecting a parade by voluntary organisations and students, Fashola said the memories of October 1, 1960 must continue, “to drive the nation’s quest for greater tomorrow despite the current hurdles confronting her.”
Amaechi Plans Diversification of Economy
Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said his administration would focus on diversifying the state economy by refocusing the people of the state on entrepreneurship and setting new goals.
Speaking on the occasion of Nigeria’s 52nd Independence anniversary Monday in Port Harcourt, Amaechi said his administration would also focus on technical training and middle level manpower development.
“Before the end of the year, we would be concluding discussions with a team from Germany that would be handling vocational training for this segment of our population,” he said.
Fayemi: I Want to Fight Poverty
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State Monday reiterated that the core mission of his administration was to overcome poverty and economically empower the people of the state.
Speaking during a media broadcast to commemorate the nation’s 52nd independence anniversary and 16th anniversary of the creation of the state, Fayemi described poverty as the major adversary of the people.
He said: “To savour the real joy of our celebration in its totality, our efforts at rescuing Ekiti State from the claws of poverty must be sustained on target and all inclusive irrespective of religious, economic and political inclination.”
Dickson Immortalises Abacha
Bayelsa State Government, as part of activities marking the 16th anniversary of the creation of the state by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, has announced its decision to build a housing estate in memory of the late army general.
Governor Seriake Dickson announced this in his broadcast to the state on activities commemorating the 16th anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State and the 52nd independence of the country.
According to him, government in partnership with the Ijaw National Congress (INC) has also christened the main auditorium of the INC secretariat after Abacha, as well as invite the family of the late General to be part of the celebration and also plant a memorial tree in his honour.
Orji Seeks Revival of Communal Spirit
Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, Monday called for the revival of community spirit among Nigerians, saying such collective commitment was needed for national development.
In a state-wide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary, Orji insisted that Nigerians must do away with “the anachronistic belief” that government alone can do everything thereby shirking their individual responsibilities to drive development.
“Everywhere we must all be willing to renew our community spirits of readiness to partner government in monitoring and developing our communities, cities and state,” he said.
Ahmed Tasks Nigerians on Nation Building
Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday urged Nigerians to focus more on opportunities that could engender national growth, despite the seemingly unending travails.
Ahmed made this call in his independence anniversary speech at the Ilorin Metropolitan Park.
Represented by his deputy, Mr. Peter Kisira, Ahmed recalled that many nations had faced similar challenges and later emerged great from even more daunting predicaments.
Akpabio: Nigeria's Unity is Sacrosanct
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Monday challenged Nigerians to see the 52nd independence anniversary of the nation as a period of national consecration and reflection instead of blood shedding.
The governor made the call, while speaking at the Uyo Township stadium, during the celebration of the nation's anniversary, saying security challenges being experienced in the country was a negative phase from what the founding fathers achieved based on love, unity and strength.
In his address titled, “Let Us Reclaim Nigeria’s Future”, Akpabio said: “We are in conflict because we have failed to imbibe the spirit of our founding fathers. Somewhere down the line, sectional loyalties swallowed up our national pride.”
Shettima Preaches Peace and Amity
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has called on Nigerians not to despair with the current security threat faced by the nation but use the occasion of the 52nd Independence anniversary to reaffirm the determination to stay united as one indivisible country.
Shettima, in his message to the people of the state through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communication, Alhaji Isa Umar Gusau, said: “Nigerians should renew their will to live peacefully and united as law abiding citizens, while governments at all levels should continually develop sustainable strategies aimed at regaining lasting peace.”
Yuguda Advocates Religious Tolerance
Bauchi State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, has urged the people of the state to prove to the world that they are their brother’s keepers by living in peace and harmony and not allow ethnic, religious and or political differences to pose as hindrances.
Yuguda, who disclosed this in a state-wide radio and television broadcast to mark the 52nd Independence Day celebration, which was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Ishola Michael Adeyemi, said his administration was committed executing its mandate of maintaining peace law and order in the state.
We are a Great Nation, Says Obi
Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, Monday said despite the political, economic and security challenges facing Nigeria, there is hope that if Nigerians demonstrate the will, all constraints would be overcome.
Speaking during the celebration of Nigeria’s 52nd anniversary in Awka, Obi said: “Nigeria holds a great dream for all of us and we should endeavour to build on the contributions of our founding fathers. When the leadership as well as followership, each compelled by love of country discharges its responsibility to the State, Nigeria will take its pride of place among the comity of nations.
Saraki Harps on Patriotism
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians to continue to rekindle the hope, yearnings and aspirations of the nation’s founding fathers by supporting the nation's leaders in the task of achieving a common prosperity.
Saraki, in a statement issued Monday said: “We should all come together and work for the progress of the country.”
Musa: Founding Fathers’ Aspirations Still Missing
Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Monday said at 52, the Nigerian nation was yet to live up to the aspiration of its founding fathers.
Musa in an interview with THISDAY in Kaduna, maintained that the nation’s quest for development had been bogged down by massive corruption occasioned by bad leadership.
According to him, the achievements the nation had recorded over the years had been so “marginal that you can even ignore it when you take into account the enormous human and material resources that became available to us in the past 52 years.”
Shekarau Salutes Nigeria
The Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) during the 2011 election and former Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Monday congratulated Nigeria on the occasion of the 52 Independent anniversary.
Shekarau, in a statement in Kano and signed by his media aide, Alhaji Sule Yau Sule, appealed to Nigerians to put behind their differences and come together as one people to tackle our problems.
Lagos NUJ Tasks Nigerians on Unity
Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged Nigerians to use the 52nd Independence anniversary to reflect on those things that would unite the country.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the Council, Mr. Deji Elumoye, and the Secretary, Mr. Sylva Emeka-Okereke, the council stated that: “Nigerians should continue to believe in the corporate future of Nigeria as well as the great potential that remains untapped.”
SERAP Seeks Rights Reform
A group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to mark the country’s 52nd Independence anniversary by “urgently committing itself to socio-economic rights reform and end systemic poverty that has remained the bane of millions of Nigerians for decades.”
The organisation in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni, said: “The struggle for political freedom and independence from colonisation was widely applauded by our people but over five decades after Nigeria gained independence the country’s enormous natural resources and wealth have not been utilised for the prosperity of the country and its peoples.”
Anyim Forsees a Greater Nigeria
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Monday praised the economic blueprint of President Goodluck Jonathan as contained in his transformation agenda to lift the country from its economic challenges.
In his speech at the presentation of a book, “In Pursuit of Excellence” written by Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, in Abuja, Anyim said: “Whatever you say about Nigeria and this leadership, everything will work for good as far as God is on the throne. President Goodluck Jonathan became President out of God's providence and design and there is nothing any man can do about it.”
Agabi Blames Poor Leadership
Former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Kanu Agabi, has attributed Nigeria’s slow-paced development to poor leadership styles exhibited by various ruling classes in the country’s nationhood.
Agabi explained that Nigeria is yet to repent from the murder of her ruling class in the 1960s, adding that the murder of these leaders signified the beginning of politics of blood in the country.
Kumuyi Promises Better Future for Nigeria
The General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church (DLBC), Pastor Williams Kumuyi, Monday assured Nigerians of a better future, while calling on Nigerians to forget the past and look ahead insisting that despite all challenges, there is hope for the country.
He gave this assurance while fielding question from journalists in Abuja, after a four-day programme with the theme: “Divine connection for freedom”, as part of activities marking the nation’s 52nd anniversary.