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As insecurity, poverty, ethnic fragmentation diminish outlook, Nigeria marks 61 years of independence: U.S., Jonathan, sell hope; disunity derails our common cause, Atiku charges; Sanwo-Olu calls for courage, energy and will to confront country’s problems head-on, backpedal retreat to secession

Nigeria @61: Amid growing insecurity, galloping inflation and associated poverty, and despair, Nigeria is today marking the 61st anniversary of its political independence from colonial Britain

Amid growing insecurity, galloping inflation and associated poverty, and despair, Nigeria is today marking the 61st anniversary of its political independence from colonial Britain.

In line with diplomatic tradition, the diplomatic community identifies with Nigeria with messages of commendation on the path to progress, and “well wishes.” Other Nigerian leaders have expressed hope also.

The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said, “As Nigeria celebrates its national day, we celebrate our enduring bilateral partnership with the continent’s regional, political, and economic powerhouse.

“We appreciate Nigeria’s leadership in the region, standing up for the integrity of democratic nations in West Africa. Nigeria was among the first to condemn the recent coup in Guinea, regularly recognizes the need for presidential term limits, and supports its best and brightest to serve in the highest ranks of international organizations – most recently demonstrated by Chikwe Ihekweazu’s recent appointment to Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization.”

Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan urged Nigerians to remain optimistic about the future of the country, despite the challenges currently being faced by citizens.

 “We may have hiccups along the way and challenging times that might be stretching our resolve and determination to forge ahead, but we should not relent nor succumb to fear, discouraging trials and threats of today. We will never lose hope in our country and in our indomitable spirit and capacity to overcome difficult times, seize the moment and conquer,” former president Jonathan stated.

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar said, “Disunity doesn’t help Nigerians, because it makes it impossible for them to unite for a mutually beneficial common cause.

“I believe that our common interests are greater than those things that divide us. If we spend our energies on division rather than fighting for our common interests, it would be more difficult to bring about positive change to assuage the situation”, Atiku said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has advised Nigerians to summon the courage, energy and political will to face problems confronting the country head-on and address them squarely, and not retreat into secessionist shields.

In a statement by its president, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, CAN said that bad and selfish leadership in the past years had largely contributed to the unfortunate state the country has found herself today.
He said these bad leaders did not plan for the country to grow adding that if they did, they never made effort to implement the development plans.

“They embezzled the commonwealth of the nation. By their action, they threw the citizens into unnecessary sufferings and pains. Unemployed youths have taken to criminalities.

“The situation, humanly speaking, appears bleak but knowing that God is not man and with him, all things are possible, this is the right time to believe that there shall be showers of blessings, because some people are praying for this country. There shall be showers of blessings because God shall judge the evil doers in the nation,” he said.

In a statement signed by the National Director of Social Communications, CSN, Abuja, Padre Mike Nsikak Umoh, the Catholic Church said: “Nigeria at 61 is definitely on a different course from where it should be. It is very unfortunate that since last year, when we celebrated our 60th, things have further deteriorated so much, such that life has become so cheap while suffering and hunger have multiplied in the land.”

Africa is fading away without economic sovereignty….

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