NIGERIA At 54: Amosu, Uduaghan, Al-Makura, Fashola and others react


Nigerians still suffering in the midst of plenty —Amosun

GOVERNOR Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has said Nigerians are still suffering economically, despite the nation’s position as one of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

He noted that this development had not in anyway reflected in the daily standard of living of an average, contending that the nation’s hope to become one of the 20 most developed nations in the world by 2020 could be achieved if the micro, small and medium enterprises were developed and not just the public sector.

Governor Amosun said this in his address at the 54th National Day celebration, held on Wednesday, at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, that the nation was still struggling with indices of low income per head, high degree of illiteracy, low level of savings, investments and high dependency on importation of good and services among others.

He enjoined Nigerians to remain supportive to the task of nation building, while saying that his administration would continue to demonstrate unwavering commitment to his five cardinal programmes.

Uduaghan pardons prisoners

DELTA State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, granted total pardon to three prisoners sentenced to death and commuted the death sentence of nine others to various terms of imprisonment.

Speaking on Wednesday, at a colourful celebration to mark the independence in Asaba, the state capital, Governor Uduaghan said the pardon of the prisoners was based on recommendations from the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.

According to him, “as part of the independence day celebration, through the power conferred on me under section 212 of the Nigerian Constitution and based on the recommendation from the State Advisory Council of the Prerogative of Mercy, I have granted total pardon to three prisoners sentenced to death and granted amnesty to nine other prisoners on death row, whose sentences have now been commuted to various terms of imprisonment.”

Decrying the activities of the terrorists group, he said: “I want to call on sponsors of Boko Haram that enough is enough, they should have a rethink. They have killed, maimed, kidnapped and today and we are saying, enough is enough.”

Elechi pardons 4 prisoners

GOVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, granted amnesty to four prison inmates serving various jail terms in Abakaliki Prison the state capital, in commemoration of the nation’s 54th independence celebration.

The beneficiaries included Onyebuchi Chukwu (50), Friday Mbam (29), Jonah Nweze (30) and Christopher Odife (m).

In a statement released in abakaliki, by the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ben Igwenyi, said the amnesty was granted by the governor in consultation with the state advisory committee on the prerogative of mercy.

According to the statement, “the governor exercised this powers based on the powers conferred on him, by section 212 of the Constitution of Nigeria,”

The statement expressed the hope that the beneficiaries of the amnesty would use their experiences in prison to contribute to the development of the society.

In the same vein, the state government has awarded a N16 million monthly contract for waste disposal management in Abakaliki, the capital city.

Nigeria shall overcome her challenges —Ikuforiji

AS Nigerians celebrate the nation’s 54th independence anniversary, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Adeyemi Ikuforiji, reaffirmed his strong conviction in the ability of the country to overcome whatever daunting challenges that may be confronting her presently.

Ikuforiji said this in a message signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Rotimi Adebayo, declaring that “today, as we mark our nation’s 54th independence anniversary, let us all bear it in mind that we shall overcome whatever challenges our nation may be facing presently.”

The speaker, who noted that all had not been well with the country for so long, enjoined the citizenry not lose sight of how marvelous the Almighty God had been to Nigeria as a nation, pointing out that the country had been divinely blessed with several mineral, human and material resources.

Benue gov urges Nigerians not to lose confidence in leaders

GOVERNOR of Benue State, Rt. Honourable Gabriel Suswam, called on Nigerians not to lose hope of better future under President Goodluck Jonathan, despite challenges facing the nation.

The governor said this in his message on the occasion of Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary, stating that at 54 years, Nigeria had come of age, in spite of the difficult challenges it faces as a nation since its independence from British Colonial Authority in 1960.

According to the message signed by the media aide to the governor, Dr Cleus Akwaya, Suswam expressed confidence that in spite of these inhibitive challenges confronting the country, Nigeria, under the leadership of President Jonathan, would emerge triumphant as one of the greatest nations of the world.

Governor Suswam called on leadership at all levels to remain steadfast and purpose-driven in their collective will to make life meaningful for Nigerians.

Be patriotic, Al-Makura urges Nigerians

NASARAWA State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, on Wednesday, admonished Nigerians to imbibe the virtue of mutual love, respect, self-discipline, hardwork and patriotism, so that the country could weather the storm and reach the promised land.

This was contained in a congratulatory message, personally signed by the governor on the 54th independence anniversary and 18 years of creation of the state, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Lafia, the state capital.

He was of the view that if Nigerians could live up to these noble dispositions, the country would steadily, but surely weather her storm and assumed its rightful position among the comity of nations.

The governor said Nigerians had the right to demand for purposeful leadership that was anchored on the sacred principle of honesty, transparency, accountability and above all, the fear of God.

Al-Makura, therefore, urged all and sundry to put their hands on deck and work assiduously for the unity, development and progress of Nigeria and the state of its collective dream.

Daniel sues for peace

FORMER governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, urged Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and stability, in order to achieve the lofty ideas of her founding fathers, who advocated a united, peaceful and prosperous nation at the time of the country’s independence.

The former governor said this in his goodwill message on the occasion of Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary.

Daniel also called on Nigerians to continue to support the nation’s leaders in the task of achieving a common prosperity. Nigeria, he said, can only work when the leadership, as well as followership discharged their civic duties and responsibility to the state, by remaining resolute and committed to the country’s values.

We must keep hope alive —Paseda

THE Ogun State governorship aspirant on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform, Prince Rotimi Paseda, urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the nation, saying all will be well with it in due time.

In a chat with the Nigerian Tribune, he stressed that at this time, when the nation was faced with multi-faceted problems, the best thing to do was to refocus and plan for the future, through the introduction of a new crop of positive and right-minded leaders, who would lead the country aright.

Paseda said that though many of the present political leaders were selfish and insincere to the plight of the masses, he urged the polity not to lose hope altogether.

Calls for sober reflection —Amaechi

GOVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, described the state of the nation, after 54 years of independence, as a moment that calls for a sober reflection on which direction the country was heading.

He made the observation in his message to felicitate with Nigerians on the 54th anniversary of the attainment of independence from the colonial masters.

“While we have cause to say “To God be the glory,” there also have reasons to call for sober reflection on whether our country was headed the right direction.

“Fellow compatriots, the history of Nigeria cannot be written without Rivers State, as our fathers had fought for her freedom from colonialism. At negotiations for Nigeria’s independence, the voices of our people sounded fair and firm.

“Where others chose to procrastinate, our progenitors chose immediacy. Where others feared the foe, our natives dared the enemy, aware of William Shakespeare’s eternal verdict–“Cowards die many times before their death,” he said.

The governor also expressed satisfaction over the achievements of his administration in the last seven years, beating his chest that he had delivered on his promises.

Orji preaches peace, unity

ABIA State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, called for peace and unity among all Nigerians, despite their religious, political or ethnic differences.

Orji ,who made the appeal in a press release issued in Umuahia, by his chief press secretary, Mr Charles Ajunwa, noted that the current security and other challenges confronting the country would be a thing of the past “if all citizens and ethnic nationalities, political parties and religious bodies see Nigeria as one and indivisible entity.”

The governor noted that the result achieved in the fight against Ebola virus was a foretaste of greater feats that would be recorded “in the various sectors of our national life, if we remain united and tackle our challenges as one people.”

Governor Orji, who commended the military and other security agencies for the recent victories gained in the war against insurgency, expressed strong belief in ‘one and indissoluble Nigeria’.

“Insecurity shall soon fizzle out if we rediscover ourselves as one people and harness the strength in our diversity,” he said.

The governor also used the forum to call on all members of Boko Haram to down their weapons and embrace peace as a mark of respect for the sacrifices of Nigeria’s nationalists, who fought for independence and unity of Nigeria.

Fashola urges greater commitment to nation building

THE Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to demonstrate greater commitment to the development of the country and be irrevocably committed to its peace and unity.

The governor made the appeal at a rally, held by the state to mark Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary, which was held at the Police College, Ikeja.

He said the various challenges confronting the nation would be easily surmounted if its citizens would resolve to work for the country ‘s progress.

The governor also advised Nigerians to rekindle the spirit of national service and pride that were symbolic of the good old days of the nation’s history.

Fashola further noted that the excitement that characterised past national day celebrations had waned into mere ritual, saying the good old days could be restored if Nigerians would change their attitudes.

Fashola called on Nigerians to believe in the Nigerian project.

On the successful containment of the Ebola virus disease in the country, Fashola said that it proved that the country was not all about negativity.

Akpabio admonishes Nigerians on hardwork, integrity

THE Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has advised Nigerians against looting public funds, saying that there is more joy for every N1 earned than N1000 looted.

Akpabio, who stated this during the celebration of the country’s 54th independence anniversary in the state, maintained that integrity must always be their watchword, as they must think of what they can do for their states and nation and not what they can do for themselves and pockets.

Akpabio urged Akwa Ibom youths to take their destiny into their hands, own their future and support their elders. He appealed to all leaders in the country to remain beckons of unity.

He added that if the people were united the walls of ethnicity and tribalism could be easily broken down with a view to building bridges of love and understanding among different ethnic groups.

He reminded the youths that development could only thrive in the atmosphere of peace and unity, adding that Akwa Ibom could be a place where other parts of the country could seek direction.

The governor asked all Nigerians to shun violence which has become a threat to Nigeria’s unity and togetherness. He noted that violence was not part of the country’s national fabric and unity.

Dickson salutes Nigerians’ support, prayers

GOVERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, on Wednesday, applauded Nigerians for their support, prayers and encouragement towards tackling insecurity and other developmental challenges confronting the country.

Dickson made the commendation in his goodwill message on Nigeria’s 54th independence and 18th anniversary of the creation of the state.

The governor said the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, had enjoyed enormous support and goodwill of the citizenry, which accounted for the successes recorded.

According to him, no government would succeed in delivering its mandate, especially in the execution of people-oriented policies and programmes without the support of the citizenry.

Dickson said, like any other country, Nigeria has had its fair share of obstacles from independence till date.

The governor stressed that challenges bedevilling the nation were neither the making nor peculiar to the present administration.

He appreciated the support of all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the efforts of the security agencies in the fight against terrorism.

Nigeria has failed Awolowo —UPN national secretary

NATIONAL publicity secretary of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Bari Salau, has berated the present administration for its failure to steer the nation to its rightful place among comity of nations, thereby strangling the dreams of its founding political heroes.

Salau, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, stressed that the forecast of the Late Obafemi Awolowo for the country was yet to be realised, as corruption, insecurity, among other factors, had held the nation to ransom, thereby making it difficult for the country to realise its development goals and truly become the giant of Africa.

“Our leaders have failed us and we will continue to demand for our rights until they listen. That is why we formed our own political party, which truly represents the people. We will not rest until Nigerians are liberated from tyranny and oppression,” he said.

Nigeria’ll rise again —Ihedioha

DEPUTY Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, on Tuesday, expressed optimism that Nigeria will rise again and claim her rightful place in the international community.

Ihedioha, in a message to Nigerians to mark Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary, signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Okey Epia, noted that in spite of current challenges relating to security and development, the country would be propelled to the top given the human and material resources abundant in the land and efforts being made by government to put things right.

He called on Nigerians to remain steadfast and resilient in the pursuit of national unity and glory, while noting that leaders at different levels must also be patriotic and put the nation first in the discharge of their duties and oaths of office.

Ihedioha congratulated Nigerians on the occasion of the independence anniversary, saying “though there is much that is desired to bring our country to its place of pride, there is also much being done to move the country forward.”

Nigeria’ll overcome its challenges —Senate Leader

SENATE Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, said on Tuesday, that Nigeria will overcome its current challenges, including insurgency in the North-East.

Senator Ndoma-Egba, in a message on the occasion of Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary, said though the country was yet to meet the goals of nationhood set by its founding fathers, there was still hope that Nigeria was on the path to victory.

“We are certainly not where we could be and, indeed, should be. We could have done better, but that is not say that we have not made any progress. We have remained a nation.

“Our democracy is more enduring; our economy, after rebasing, is now the biggest in Africa and we have continued to be a continental and global player. Sooner than later, we will overcome our security challenges and we will move to a new phase,” he said.

Unfulfilled promises, challenge to governance —Atiku

FORMER vice president and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Atiku Abubakar, has observed that after 54 years of independence, the ordinary Nigerians were still lamenting what independence meant to their lives because of the widening gap between the leaders and the people.

In a statement issued in Abuja, by his media office to mark the nation’s independence anniversary, the former vice president noted that many Nigerians were concerned about how democratic governance had changed the quality of their lives for the better.

He regretted that the rate at which poverty was ravaging Nigeria was inconsistent with the vast resources available to Nigeria.

According to him, “the country’s wealth does not automatically lead to better life if good governance is lacking.”

Atiku pointed out that the rate at which unemployment was accelerating among Nigeria’s youth, creates youth restiveness, which itself had led to other social crises such as armed robbery and other violent crimes.

At 54, he said “Nigeria should have counted among countries that have lifted its citizens out of poverty.”

We’ve attained great height —Kwara gov

THE Nigeria’s 54th independence anniversary celebration in Kwara State witnessed a low turn out of people at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin, venue of the celebration.

The event was held amidst tight security.

Speaking shortly after reviewing parade, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by his deputy, Elder Peter Kishira, said the country had attained a memorable height which called for celebrations.

He said the government at the national level had been doing a lot in ensuring that development spread across the nooks and crannies of the country.

The governor also said the government was doing all that it could to contain and bring to an end, the current wave of Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

He urged Nigerians to continue to support government at all levels for better growth and development .

We have cause to rejoice —Babatope

FORMER Transport and Aviation Minister, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has observed that Nigerians have cause to rejoice and celebrate on the 54th anniversary of our dear country.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja,Chief Babatope, a member of Board of Trustees of the PDP said this was because despite the grave challenges and socio-political problems facing the country, “we have refused to allow disunity to ravage the land.”

According to him, “despite the Boko Haram menace, our country has refused to mortgage her political and economic freedom. By God’s grace, Nigeria will triumph in the end and victory will be ours. ”

NLC seeks improved welfare, social security for workers

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Enugu State, on Wednesday, appealed to government at all levels, to improve the welfare of workers to ensure improved productivity and industrial peace.

The state NLC chairman, Mr Chumaife Nze, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.

The union leader, while assessing the achievements of the country since independence, stressed the need for industrial peace and harmony.

Nze, who applauded federal and state governments for remarkable improvement in infrastructure, agriculture, education and health sectors, lamented that much had not been done concerning the welfare of workers.

“Nigeria at 54 has actually done well. We can say that there is an improvement in what we have in education, health, road and agriculture.

“The only issue is that if you match what we collect as workers with social security, it is not enough to take care of our immediate family needs.

“What a worker take home as salary seem to be below expectation.

“Government should as often as possible, look at the economic situation of the country, increase workers welfare packages so that we will have enough to take care of our family needs,” he said.

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