Saturday, October 1

Saraki, Dogara, Ekweremadu, Kalu, govs, US, others speak on journey so far

Saraki, Dogara, Ekweremadu, Kalu, govs, US, others speak on journey so far

Eminent Nigerians yesterday used the celebration of Nigeria’s 56th Independence celebration to review the state of the nation.

Nigeria witnessing loss of foreign confidence –Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar yesterday said Nigeria was witnessing loss of foreign confidence for her inability to resolve the economic downturn fast. According to him, there has been a slowdown of badly needed foreign investment.

He said: “This current crisis is not a time for grief, regret or recrimination. It is an opportunity for all of us to roll up our sleeves and support the government in the arduous task of revitalising the core elements of our national economy.

“We are witnessing an increasing loss of foreign confidence in the ability of Nigerians to resolve the economic downturn. There has been a slowdown of badly needed foreign investment, which has decelerated economic development that is so essential to the well-being of the ordinary Nigerian.

The average Nigerian is worried about the state of things and yearning for a vibrant economy within a peaceful and stable environment so that he/she can carry on with daily endeavours to make ends meet.”

Saraki calls for joint efforts

The President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians to collaborate with the Federal Government in order to ensure the nation emerged from the current economic recession stronger, more united, developed and self reliant.

Saraki in his message signed in Abuja by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said: “We should all vow to work together as we have done in the past to save the nation. No single individual can solve our present economic predicament. I believe that with our collective efforts and sheer political will, we can push back the high tide of recession now confronting us as nation.”

Dogara: We shall overcome

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has despite the challenges and difficulties confronting Nigerians, there is every reason for the country to celebrate its independence anniversary. In a statement issued yesterday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker noted that the current challenges were not insurmountable because with unity of purpose, commitment, sacrifice, hard work and patriotism, we shall overcome.

Ekweremadu calls for sober reflection

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, called for sober reflection and return to the path of true federalism as envisioned by the founding fathers in order to move the nation forward. The Senator, who stressed the need for justice, peace, and unity, once more, urged the Federal Government to mobilise all capable hands to salvage the nation’s ailing economy, as there was hunger in the land.

In his anniversary message signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, he said: “This calls for sober reflection. No people can make progress, unless they retrace their steps back to where the rain started beating them.”

Embrace ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign, Kalu tells Nigerians

Eminent businessman and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has urged Nigerians to embrace the “Change Begins With Me” campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari led- Federal Government. He noted that for the country to progress, people at the helm must place national interest above selfish ambition.

While acknowledging the ideals of Nigeria’s founding fathers like Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Ladoke Akintola, Alvan Ikoku and a few others which were anchored on patriotism, selflessness, discipline and togetherness, he urged people at all levels of government to toe the path of these past leaders in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.

According to the exgovernor, there is a need for attitudinal change and reorientation as the current economic challenges facing the country call for financial discipline as individuals and as a people. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, in commemoration of Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary celebration, Kalu said: “As we mark yet another independence anniversary, we have every cause to celebrate while reflecting on past experiences toward building a brighter tomorrow.

“Nigeria as a nation is blessed with enormous potential including human and material resources and as such she should not lag behind among the comity of nations. “It is important for leaders both in the private and public sectors to adopt strategies that will not only create employment and wealth for today’s generation but also guarantee the future of the unborn generation.

“The political class should desist from the blame game and focus their energy and resources on initiatives that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people. “Inasmuch as people have grievances, we cannot undermine the peace and harmony of the country for ethnic, tribal, religious and political interests.

“If the tenets of democracy are strictly adhered to by the government and the governed, there will be a meeting point by both parties and ultimately the country will be better off.”

Be more patriotic, Ahmed tasks Nigerians

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called on Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotism, commitment and dedication to collective goals so that the current challenges become things of the past. Ahmed said the economic situation of the country may make livelihood difficult at the present if Nigerians join hands together, the country will surely and steadily bounce back to prosperity.

Abubakar pardons 22 inmates in Bauchi

Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday pardoned 22 inmates serving various jail terms in the state. Abubakar announced this in Bauchi, in a broadcast to the people of the state as part of activities marking 56th independence anniversary of the country. Abubakar said the country had assumed a status of super power in spite of the skepticism that the country would derail after independence.

We’re not there yet -Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, said Nigeria was not where it should be even though it has witnessed appreciable progress. “Nigeria’s political, social and economic foundations need to be reworked and strengthened.

Our institutions are not functional enough to deliver on the goals for which they were set up. This independence anniversary therefore offers us another opportunity at reflections. “The times are tough no doubt. The reasons are not far-fetched.

However, the journey to recovery has begun in earnest and I enjoin you all to support the President Muhammadu Buhariled administration in this journey,” he said.

CAN: Time to give thanks

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, said at this time, Nigerians should give thanks to God. He said: “What my bible talks of is moderation in everything no matter how rich or how poor. Moderation is the discreet way to thank God.

The government should use the money that they would have used for elaborate celebration to provide employment for millions of unemployed youths in our nation. “This is not a period of extravagance in independence celebration but it is a time of reflection on what made us to fail so that we would not walk in the path of failure anymore.”

Celebration aimed at squandering money – Okogie

His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, said Nigerians are not celebrating because Nigeria is 56 or because of her leaders. Rather, they are celebrating Nigeria because the good Lord that put this nation together as one entity is still keeping it till today, despite all the attempts to break the country into pieces.

Okogie said: “So, we have to keep thanking God for the unity not because of the government; the government is only trying to use the avenue to bring money out of the treasury in spite of what we are going true at the present. Their own is to camouflage that we are celebrating Independence to justify the squandering spree.

“Nigerians should rejoice because God in his infinite goodness and mercy is keeping us together and I know that one day we shall all smile again. When you look at the time of Herbert Macaulay and all those before him you see Nigeria is worth celebrating but since then the kind of people we have are just after money to the detriment of the populace.

They don’t care whether the nation survives or not provided they survive, that’s what they are looking for.”

We’ve cause to celebrate –Yakassai

Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, a former National Assembly Liaison Officer to former President Shehu Shagari, has said Nigeria have every cause to celebrate its 56 year anniversary, despite the negative military interventions which set the country back ward. Yakasai told our correspondent in Kano, that at the time of the nation’s Independence in 1960, there were no major inter-states roads that were tarred but said Nigeria has virtually all roads linking every states of the federation today.

We should restructure –Gani Adams

Leader of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Chief Gani Adams, said: “Independence is a symbol of our entity as a nation. But I will prefer it to be celebrated on a lighter mood because of the economic realities in the country at present.

When Nigeria was still in a good point in terms of economy you will see many people celebrating it on their streets and they will celebrate it in joyous moods. “That notwithstanding, Independence Day is an Independence Day. However, the government should use it an avenue to pep up talks about how this country will be restructured so that we can move forward.”

US hails Nigeria

The United States of America (USA) has congratulated Nigeria on the occasion of the country’s 56th Independence anniversary which comes up today. President Barack Obama in a statement yesterday expressed confidence that Nigerians were working hard to address current national challenges.

The US President through the Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, said: “On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the citizens of Nigeria as you celebrate your Independence Day on October 1.”

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