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Your sacrifices won’t be in vain, Shettima assures Nigerians

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Vice President Kashim Shettima, has assured Nigerians that their sacrifices will not be in vain, adding that the promises made by the Bola Tinubu’s administration would be fulfilled.

He gave  the assurance at a public lecture to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, yesterday.

He asserted that the administration is dedicated to creating a nation in which every citizen’s economic independence is ensured and where none of them is dependent on vague handouts in order to survive.

“Today, we gather to honour Nigeria’s journey to redefine its destiny. Today, we stand on the precipice of history to reflect upon a nation that has defied the predictions of doomsayers, a nation that has become the metaphor of resilience.

“Over the past 63 years, we have not only survived but thrived because of our collective resolve, our commitment to progress, and the enduring spirit of unity that binds us together from Aba, down through Ogbomosho to Zaria, despite the conspiracies of minor vested interests,” the VP said.

According to Shettima, while this anniversary offers Nigeria another opportunity to acknowledge the cross-regional bonds that have kept the country standing as Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, “we are here to remind ourselves that the future we promised Nigerians isn’t an empty performance for electoral favours.”

He stated that a great nation’s destiny is not defined by the incidence of a socioeconomic issue but rather by the intention, sincerity, and creative ideas of its leaders and their dedication to putting those ideas into action.

“We cannot renew the hope of the nation unless we deliver on our promise to drive food security and eradicate poverty. We cannot foster economic growth and nurture job creation unless we facilitate access to capital, enhance national security, and optimize the business environment for our enterprises.

“We are going to uphold the rule of law and fight corruption to design the Nigeria of our dream. We can’t achieve any of these unless each citizen remains a strategic partner in pursuit of our ultimate national interests.”

Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic, the vice president pointed out that “the tragedy reminded us that viruses do not discriminate based on ethnicity or religion, and that our strength as a nation is driven by our collective faith in the ideals that define us and in the moral character of our leaders.”

Shettima further stressed the crucial role of leadership in shaping a nation’s destiny, stating that “the future of a great nation rests on the intention, sincerity, and innovative ideas of its leaders and their commitment to implementing them.”

While acknowledging the sacrifices made by Nigerians over the years, he noted that such solidarity has inspired the government to focus on diverse sectors, from agriculture to digital technology, from healthcare to education.

“We knew from the starting point of this race to serve the people that the track would not be without its holes and thorns. We knew that challenges would arise, and obstacles would test our resolve. But, as our history has shown, Nigerians are too ambitious to be broken by a temporary setback. We are going to emerge from this phase of our reforms stronger, each of us with renewed hope.”

Shettima asserted that “at 63, we recognise that what has sustained us and propelled us forward is our collective belief that overcoming the challenges we’ve inherited necessitates sacrifices.”

He reiterated that these sacrifices are investments in a brighter future, one that will secure the well-being of current and future generations.

“As we work together towards a future where opportunity knows no bounds, let’s remember that our most potent weapon is the overriding resolve of the majority to choose unity over chaos and democracy over anarchy.”

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, had in his remarks said the lecture was intended to shed more light on critical areas of Nigeria’s socio-economic potentials that could be explored and developed through policies and programmes enunciated by the current administration. The process, he said, is critical because of the dynamic nature of Nigeria’s socio-economic environment and the global systems.

The SGF added that the lecture is also significant because President Tinubu had, during his recent address at the United Nations General Assembly, beckoned on the world leaders to partner with Nigeria for business and development.