Activities to mark Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary climaxed yesterday with speeches by respective state governors expressing optimism that Nigeria will soon get out of the economic recession.
However, one peculiar thread that ran down the speeches of all the governors was the concern over the dwindling economy.
In Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode appealed to Nigerians to unite and key into government policies aimed at rescuing the country from the current economic recession.
Ambode, who spoke at the Independence Parade held at the Police College Ground in Ikeja area of the state to mark the nation’s 56th independence celebration said there was no better time for Nigerians to unite to rescue the nation from sundry challenges threatening its continuous existence.
He said the fact that the nation has remained united despite visible challenges in the last 56 years of sovereignty was a lot to be thankful for.
Ambode noted that the spirit of resilience, resourcefulness and determination that Nigerians display to succeed in all spheres of human endeavour was well recognised and acknowledged all over the globe,
He said the nation has great potentials to rank among the most prosperous countries in the world.
The Governor said, “I wish to use this opportunity to make a passionate appeal, more than ever before, that we must renew our belief in the Nigeria Project and play our parts diligently.
The Kwara state governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday urged Nigerians to have faith in the Nigerian project.
He reminded them that “we do not have any other country that can be called our own, except Nigeria”.
Ahmed spoke during the 56th independence anniversary at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin.
The governor who was represented at the event by the state’s Head of Service,Mrs Zarah Omar, however admitted that “this is not the best of time for Nigeria”.
Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday expressed optimism that Nigeria will come of the current economic hardship strong.
El-Rufai, in his 2016 Independence Day address entitled ‘Let us maintain peace and cherish harmony’ however noted that Nigerians mark this year’s Independence Day in difficult economic circumstances.
“We mark this day in difficult economic circumstances, but we can overcome these as we did previous moments of hardship. Robust decisions are pending and we must support all levels of government to take and put into effect the tough steps that we need to begin the process of economic recovery. We must promptly navigate a route out of the stormy economic weather”, he said.
The governor also approved the release of three prisoners following recommendations from the advisory council.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says Nigeria’s unity in non-negotiable, as the nation marks her 56th Independence anniversary.
He said no amount of sponsored acts of sabotage will lead to the negotiation of the nation’s unity, adding that no nation in the world is perfect.
Speaking at ceremonies to mark the nation’s 56th Independence abbiversary at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Saturday,
Oshiomhole said: “I am one of those who believe and I am not reluctant when I say and I wish to repeat today that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. The unity of Nigeria cannot be re-negotiated. It is not whether it is perfect or not perfect. I know of no nation that is perfect, and our elite must rethink.
On his part, Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade yesterday urged Nigerians to demonstrate utmost gratitude to God as the country marked 56 years of nationhood.
Ayade who made the call in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr Christian Ita, said 56 years of Independence as a nation was a precious gift from God. He urged Nigerians to pray for the continuous unity and stability of the country.
His words: “Fifty six years is a watershed in the history of a nation. There is no doubt that we have come a long way and achieved so much as a people. We have every reason to be thankful to God for the peace, unity and security we have been enjoying.”
While urging Nigerians not to take the prevailing peace in the country for granted, Governor Ayade reminded.
As economic recession bit harder on Nigerians this year Independence anniversary celebration in Adamawa state was observed with only special prayers in mosques and churched across the state.
The celebrations, though peacefully characterized with low-key event as few school pupils dressed in their school uniforms were left stranded and a contingent of boys and girls scouts available at the Mahmud Ribadu square when leadership visited the venue.
The Commissioner for information and strategy Adamawa state Mallam Ahmad Sajoh in a press statement earlier, said the state government heeded to the call by his Excellency the president to observed a low-key event.
Sajoh in the state urge the citizens of the state to used the period of the independence celebrations for sober reflections and for prayers for divine intervention in pulling out the country out of present recession.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said, the creation of Ekiti state out of the old Ondo state by Late head of state, General Sanni Abacha on 1st October, 1996 made the country independent day more unique to the Ekiti people.
He also said that the people of the state will eternally be grateful to the late head of state, its founding fathers and the past chief executive officers of the state for their immense contribution to its development while in the saddle and for actualizing the dream for the state’s creation.
Ekiti State was created alongside Bayelsa, Gombe, Nasarawa , Ebonyi and Zamfara States on October 1, 1996.
Speaking at an event held at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium to mark the Nigeria’s 56 independent anniversary and 20th anniversary of the creation of the state saluted the determination, ruggedness and focused struggles of our royal fathers, statesmen, elders and all those who were involved in championing the course of the creation of the State either directly or by proxy.
As Nigeria marks her 56th Independence anniversary, Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel has advocated the institutionalization of a viable economic framework that would grow the economy and sustain the people.
Governor Emmanuel made the advocacy while fielding questions from Government House Correspondents at Ibom International Airport on his arrival from an official trip to Abuja.
He said that the desire for a robust economy is on the front burner of every citizen in the country given the economic challenges confronting the Nation and that Nigeria has not fared well even in her 56 years of existence.
According to him, “ the planners jettisoned priorities to other non sectors of the economy such as Agriculture to generate wealth by exporting the produce rather than importing finished products from other countries only to complain of the flexible window of the exchange rate and unemployment in the country”.
As Nigerians celebrate the 56th anniversary of the Country’s Independence, the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has indicated that inspite of ugly picture being painted by certain Nigerians, the country has not performed awfully and that Nigerians should have every reason to celebrate and if for no other reason, for the fact that the country has remained united inspite of certain predictions to the contrary.
He said that whatever challenges the country is facing at the moment could not be said to be strange because all the big nations of the world we celebrate today had also passed through such challenges and even more traumatizing challenges.
While many Nigerians continue to use the current hardship been experienced as a reason not to celebrate the nation at 56, sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has insisted that, the current hardship was simply a passing phase of development.
Tambuwal, who spoke yesterday after the state organized a special prayer to commemorate Nigeria at 56 atbthe 1 Brigade, Nigeria Army Barracks, Sokoto, decried that, Nigerians have been unable to absorb the shock of recession because our institutions are just possibly growing.
“As believers in God, we must begin by thanking Almighty for sparing our lives in good health for us to witneseed yet another important milestone in the history of our country; Nigeria at 56.