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…Atiku, Obi, Abass, Kalu, Govs, others felicitate Nigerians

• Urge citizens to pull together, keep faith in country

By Ndubuisi Orji, Romanus Ugwu, Charity Nwakaudu, Adanna Nnamani (Abuja), Oluseye Ojo (Ibadan), Scholastica Onyeka (Makurdi), Chukwudi Nweje (Lagos)

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said Nigerians must be prepared to do their best to pull the country back from the “point of uncertainty to a place of common safety.”

Atiku, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last presidential election, in an Independence Day message, said “the challenge before us all is in ensuring that the political leadership in the country that we call home should be worthy of our pride as a people and not of telling embarrassment.”

The PDP leader, while congratulating Nigerians noted that celebration is coming at a time when the country is at crossroads.

In his message to Nigerians, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbass, declared that Nigeria would be great again, despite the present challenges confronting her.

Abbas while congratulating Nigerians on the occasion of the country’s 63rd Independence Anniversary urged them to keep hope alive.

He noted that the country still has the prospect and potential to reclaim its leadership position in the comity of nations, especially with its abundant human and natural resources.

The Speaker while decrying the brain drain in the country stated that only Nigerians could rebuild their country to make its pasture greener. He urged young Nigerians to be more patriotic, using their talents and skills to develop their country.

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25th general election, Peter Obi, urged Nigerians not to despair over the agonizing situation in the country after 63 years of our nationhood, but to remain resolute and hopeful that a new Nigeria is still possible.

Even amid grave uncertainties and apparent hardship, which the citizens of Nigeria are experiencing due to persistent leadership failure, Obi said the situation might be critical, but certainly not hopeless.

The LP Presidential standard bearer noted that the real reason Nigerians have remained visibly mired in poor governance and poverty after 63 years is that successive administrations through policies actions and inactions have attempted to suppress conscientious people, in pave the way for them to remain at the helm of power.

Former Governor of Abia State and Senate Committee Chairman on Privatization, Dr. Orji Kalu, urged Nigerians to unite for the sake of nation building.

Kalu, while stressing that the peace and unity of the country is not negotiable, cautioned the political class against inflammatory and provocative utterances.

The former governor, who applauded the invaluable contributions of Nigeria’s founding fathers to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria, called on the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government to discharge their duties and responsibilities in good faith for the betterment of the country.

In similar vein, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, who noted the country’s journey has not been rosy, however, assured that “it can only get better.”

The deputy speaker urged citizens to continue being positive about the country, adding, “At 63, we have every cause to celebrate. We appreciate God for the unity and peace the people of our country enjoy.”

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, urged Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to support the administration of President Bola Tinubu and all state governments in their efforts to birth a new, prosperous Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu also implored Nigerians to continue to live with one another in love, unity and peace, irrespective of their religious or ethnic differences, adding that support and encouragement of all the citizens are vital to attain a better and prosperous Nigeria.

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, in his anniversary message challenged citizens, especially those who live in Benue, to contribute their quota to the development of the state and the nation in general.

Governor Alia stated this at the symposium he organized to commemorate the 63rd Independence anniversary of the country, and held yesterday at the New Banquet Hall, in Government House, Makurdi, venue of the event.

“I challenge everyone to think of what they can contribute today to the upliftment of the nation,” he said.

His Oyo State counterpart, ‘Seyi Makinde, rallied Nigerians to dream and work for a better Nigeria as the country and them to look at the prospects of the country, the possibilities and opportunities rather than the challenges, stressing it was time to put the country first.

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has described Nigeria as a country characterized by opportunities, prospects and challenges.

The former governor of Kano State assured citizens of good governance under the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration.

The APC chairman called on Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic and religious leanings to sustain the culture of peaceful coexistence to ensure the unity and cohesion of the country.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) administrations as the worst in the history of the country.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on the occasion of the country’s 63rd Independence anniversary, congratulated Nigerians for surviving the eight years and four months of the APC administrations.

The opposition party stated that the APC-led government has allegedly reversed all the gains made by the country’s founding fathers, as well as the achievements recorded by the PDP in its 16 years in government.

National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Barrister Julius Abure on his part decried the pace of growth Nigeria has witnessed since Independence.

Abure said that of all the plethora of challenges the country has battled, institutional conspiracy and corruption in high places were key reasons Nigeria is still struggling.

Prince Adewole Adebayo, presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the February 25, 2023 has charged elected office holders and citizens to play their respective roles in propelling Nigeria in ensuring that Nigeria attains its full potential in the comity of nations.

He noted that despite the hardship the country is currently facing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, adding that it will take a collaborative effort of every Nigerian to take Nigeria to “the harbour of greatness.”

Senator Sharafadeen Alli, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and who is representing Oyo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has said it is imperative to build a prosperous, just, and inclusive Nigeria that is fair to all.

He made the assertion yesterday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Akeem Abas, to mark the 63rd independence anniversary of the country.

He said: “As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, we must remember the true essence of independence, which lies in our collective efforts as a people towards securing the advancement of our nation and its citizens.”

Former Chief of Staff to former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, in his message urged Nigerians to remain united as Nigeria has come a long way as one indivisible entity,which every citizen must work to protect.

Nwosu also enjoined Nigerians to pray for the country and her leaders for the entrenchment of good governance and the well being of the people.