Truth & justice

Independence Day: Queen Elizabeth, Israel, South Africa greet Nigeria

.Gen. Abdulsalami cautions politicians

.It’s more than a ritual, says Tinubu

Queen Elizabeth of England has felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the 60th Independence anniversary.

Her message, conveyed by the British High Commission in Nigeria reads: “It gives me great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations on the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, together with my best wishes for your country’s continued happiness and prosperity.

“The United Kingdom and Nigeria benefit from strong and enduring ties as Commonwealth partners through shared history and most importantly, our people. These are bonds that I hope and believe will flourish long into the future.”

South Africa, through its High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Thamsanqa Mseleku, extolled Nigeria’s leading role in peacekeeping.

“The government and the people of South Africa congratulate Nigeria and wish the country continued peace and prosperity.

“Since its independence, Nigeria has continued to play an important role in the continental effort to unite the countries and peoples of the continent, and contribute to the economic development of Africa,” it said.

Israel also congratulated the government and people of Nigeria on the anniversary, while extolling the bilateral cooperation between the two countries since 1960.

The congratulatory message is contained in a statement by Mr Shimon Ben-Shoshan, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Nigeria.

“I am proud to note with satisfaction the strong diplomatic relations and friendship that exist today between our countries,” he said.

Eminent Nigerians including Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former Head of State General Abdusalami Abubakar, said the country’s democratic journey is on course despite hitches.

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Oluremi Tinubu called for hope as the country strives to fulfil its potential.

Lawan said national development is a work in progress that requires the patience and unconditional commitment of all patriots.

He assured that the legislature will continue to provide true representation and strive to make their government work for them.

According to him, the ninth National Assembly is committed to reviewing the constitution for “our co-existence as a nation, with a view to making it a document of the Nigerian people.”

He described the theme for the independence anniversary “Together” as apt.

Lawan said: “Our national journey may have been tortuous, our progress slow and unsteady, and primordial fears and sentiments may occasionally cast dark clouds over our unity and threaten our resolve to stick together, but if we look at great nations throughout history, we would realise that all such experiences are common features of nation-building.

“Some of us may not see the wood for the trees due to some unmet expectations. But a broad perspective of issues will strengthen rather than weaken our aspiration of building a great Nigeria.”

Gbajabiamila, in a goodwill message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, paid tributes to Nigeria’s heroes, who made sacrifices for the country to become what it is today.

“I hold in my heart the abiding truth that there is nothing wrong with our country that cannot be fixed by what is right about our country – and there is nothing more righteous about Nigeria than its people.

“We are the ones who will save ourselves to attain the lofty heights of our national anthem and make for our children a nation where peace and justice reign,” the Speaker said.

General Abubakar urged Nigerians to be patriotic and disciplined so that the country can have meaningful development.

He told reporters in Minna: “For Nigeria to attain greatness, we must become a disciplined society. It is unfortunate that there is still indiscipline in the country. People don’t obey the rules and regulations set by the government.

“Every Nigerian is expected to do their best. Desist from sabotage and assist the government in its effort to improve the country’s economy.”

Abdusalami added: “No country can prosper under security challenges. Nigerians must assist the government by exposing miscreants living among us so that the security agencies can arrest and deal with them decisively.”

He also urged Nigerians to be awake to their responsibilities and hold their elected leaders accountable.

Ekweremadu stressed the need to deepen democracy through quality elections for better leadership.

“As the nation hits the diamond age, it is very obvious that we have not lived up to our potential as well as the promise we held for the world at independence 60 years ago.

“Obviously, we have ourselves, particularly poor leadership to blame, since Nigeria is one of the most endowed nations on earth.

“Going forward, therefore, we must work harder and sincerely at enthroning quality leadership; and this can only come through free, fair, and credible elections,” he said.

Senator Tinubu urged Nigerians to face the future with renewed hope despite post-COVID-19 challenges.

She said: “Nigeria has risen out of every challenge, overcome the odds and thrived. Though there is so much room for improvement, it is certain that in spite of our differences, we can overcome whatever challenges.”

Mrs Tinubu said that Nigerians should continue to be innovative in meeting the demands of the times and show patriotism by eschewing tribalism and religious intolerance.

“More than ever, we must, in our disposition, actions and words, show faith in the future of our country.

“Nigeria is a great nation blessed with much potential and resources. Let us be true to her and build a legacy that will transcend time,” she said.

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