The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with Nigerians on the 55th independence anniversary of the country.
This is contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, in Abuja.
The Speaker said that although Nigeria was facing multifarious challenges, “nonetheless the country has witnessed significant improvement in some areas,’’ adding that Nigerians had cause to celebrate the event.
“I will urge our people to use this period to give thanks to God for keeping the country one, despite many upheavals and prophecies of doom,’’ the statement said.
Dogara, who said that Nigeria was far behind in many areas and ranked among the lowest in the human development index, however, expressed optimism that “happy times will be here again’’.
“Rather than grieving over problems and challenges facing the country, Nigerians must as a matter of necessity move away from lamentation and hopelessness,’’ he urged.
The speaker also called on Nigerians to ebrace a new era of hope and positivity about the future of the country.
“As leaders, we are aware of the task before us as there is so much work to do which requires sacrifice by all Nigerians.
“Thus we will plead with our people not to lose hope in their leaders as most nations have passed through similar challenges and emerged stronger.
“I have strong hope and conviction that Nigeria will also overcome these challenges. This too, shall pass away and happy times will be here again,’’ the statement said.
It added that the eighth House of Representatives will continue to enact people-oriented legislations that would be targeted at solving the current socio-economic and security challenges of the country.
The statement also commended efforts by the military to recover territories taken by insurgents in the North East region.
“I call on all citizens to support the fight against terrorism so that millions of our people who are internally displaced with some being refugees in other countries will return home and live in peace, freedom and happiness.’’
Similarly, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Mr Yussuff Lasun, also enjoined Nigerians to be hopeful toward a brighter future.
Lasun’s advice is contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Wole Oladimeji.
In Osogbo, Osun, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has called on Nigerians to embrace unity, and development and avoid actions capable of destabilising the sovereignty of the nation.
Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo on Thursday.
Oyatomi further called on the people to rededicate themselves to serving “our fatherland with love, strength and faith and being true compatriots’’.
He said: “The present administration has hit the ground running with the ideals in which our past heroes lived.’’
Oyatomi called for the support of President Buhari’s agenda to fight corruption, insurgency and restore the lost glory of the country.
He prayed for the growth and development of the country and urged stakeholders to join hands with the present administration to achieve its set goals.
The national secretariat of the APC also urged Nigerians to continue to put the nation first and eschew activities that could divide the country and jeopardise its unity and prosperity.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secretary of the party, in a statement in Lagos also urged the citizens to celebrate the anniversary by remembering all the nation’s past heroes and the sacrifices they made to keep the nation united and strong.
“We have no doubt that today’s generation of Nigerians have also made, and are indeed still making, great sacrifices for the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria.
“They have to re-commit themselves to serving their fatherland with love, strength and faith,” he said.
In Lafia, Nasarawa state, some residents of the state capital commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the manner he is governing the country with a view to transforming it to a developed nation.
They made their opinions known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia on Thursday to mark the independence of the country.
Alhaji Usman Umar, Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Science and Technology, said the emergence of Buhari as president had brought hope and sanity to the education sector in Nigeria.
“So far, we have started reaping the dividends of our fight for independence with Buhari as our leader.
“Everybody, every ministry is feeling his impact already. We are happy because we know that before his tenure ends, our education in Nigeria will be one of the best.
“There is a lot of provision to take care of free education in the 2015 budget. We pray that the provision of the budget will be given maximum attention,” he said.
Mr Abdullahi Adeka, Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, praised the President for priotising the welfare of workers across the country.
“When workers welfare are not properly taken care of, you cannot call the country they work for as developed but we thank God, President Buhari is doing well with regards to workers’ issues.
“He has released bailout funds for workers’ salaries and instructed that all entitlements of workers be paid to those affected.
“There has been a developmental change since he came on board and his fight against corruption, especially in the public service, is yielding positive gains,” he said.
Mr Jimoh Musa, Chairman of the state chapter of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), described this year’s anniversary special because the country’s judiciary was witnessing a revolution under the leadership of Buhari.
“We in the judiciary are witnessing a new dawn in terms of the way justice is being meted on people. Thanks to President Buhari’s stand on incorruptibility.
“I believe that if the fight against corruption is successful, Nigeria will be regarded as a developed country legally,’’ he said.
ASP Ismaila Numan, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, expressed hope that with the current war against terrorism and extremism, Nigeria would rid itself of terrorists.
“So far so good, security in many parts of the country has greatly improved under President Buhari. In Nasarawa state, there has been relative calm,” said the police spokesman.
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