Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta
As Nigeria is getting set to celebrate its 60th Independence Day on October 1, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, yesterday called on Nigerians not to be despair, saying a greater Nigeria is possible in the foreseeable future.
Abiodun said no matter the prevailing circumstances, the country had proved to be an enigma, defying all predictions by pundits that it would not survive.
According to him, “Nigeria has always wriggled out of the most difficult situation better.
“I have no doubt that Nigerians should be hopeful, and we all must be ready to contribute to that future which we desire. Be hopeful. As a country, we are moving towards a better Nigeria.”
The governor expressed this optimism at the special church service to mark the 60th National Day Celebration held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters in Ake, Abeokuta, the state capital.
He also noted that the task ahead “is a collective one. We shouldn’t allow prophecies of doom to define us. With prayers, and given the human and material resources available, believe that things would get better.”
The governor recalled that many countries that gained independence with Nigeria were no longer together.
“They have either been balkanised by their internal realities or civil war. We have survived many vicissitudes, and in Nigeria’s case, despite its numerous challenges, especially in the area of economy and security, the country is still together and would move forward more prosperously.
“Despite all predictions, Nigeria is still standing. Our diversity is our strength. We are a resilient and confident people. We surmounted the civil war and Boko Haram insurgency.
“Tomorrow will bring the best in us. All we need to do is to work together. Nigeria will move forward. We must not prophesy doom. Nation building is not for government alone, but the responsibility of all.
“We were able to manage COVID-19 very well. We defeated Ebola which was deadlier. About seven million people died in the United States and thousands are affected on a daily basis; but we thank God that is not the case here. There are a lot to be done in the area of economy and security, and I believe that with everyone on board, we shall overcome,” Abiodun stated.
On housing, the governor said his administration has constructed affordable housing in Abeokuta, and is currently constructing similar units in Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ilaro and Ifo, while efforts are on to revitalise the education and health sectors of the state.
While urging the people not to lose hope, Abiodun enjoined them to continue to pray and remain united as the future of the country looks good.
In his sermon, the retired Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Peter Akinola, decried the state of bloodletting in the country, saying for the country to experience development, efforts must be made to stop bloodletting, while the people must repent of their sins.