By Ismail Abdulaziz
President Bola Tinubu has lauded the country’s founding fathers for their doggedness, patriotism and activism that culminated into Nigeria’s freedom from colonialists 63 years ago.
He stated this on Sunday in Abuja in an address to Nigerians on the nation’s 63rd Independence Anniversary.
He said that their efforts gave life to the belief in Nigeria as a sovereign and independent nation that it is today.
“On this solemn, yet hopeful day, let us commend our founding fathers and mothers. Without them, there would be no modern Nigeria.
“From the fading embers of colonialism, their activism, dedication and leadership gave life to the belief in Nigeria as a sovereign and independent nation.
“Let us, at this very moment, affirm that as Nigerians, we are all endowed with the sacred rights and individual gifts that God has bestowed on us as a nation and as human beings. No one is greater or lesser than the other.
“The triumphs that Nigeria has achieved shall define us. The travails we have endured shall strengthen us. And no other nation or power on this earth shall keep us from our rightful place and destiny.
“Nigeria is remarkable in its formation and essential character. We are a broad and dynamic blend of ethnic groups, religions, traditions and cultures. Yet, our bonds are intangible, yet strong, invisible yet universal.
“We are joined by a common thirst for peace and progress, by the common dream of prosperity and harmony and by the unifying ideals of tolerance and justice.’’
Tinubu said that building a nation of shared vision always come with various challenges that must be conquered and resolved in the overall interest of the citizens.
“Forging a nation based on the fair application of these noble principles to a diverse population has been a task of significant blessing but also serial challenge.
“Some people have said an independent Nigeria should never have come into existence. Some have said that our country would be torn apart. They are forever mistaken. Here, our nation stands and here we shall remain.
“This year, we passed a significant milestone in our journey to a better Nigeria. By democratically electing a 7th consecutive civilian government, Nigeria has proven that commitment to democracy and the rule of law remains our guiding light.’’
The president said that the commitment of the security forces, the legislatures, judiciary as well as the civil society organisation was a force that binds the country since independence.
He said that the administration would continue to accord highest priority to the safety of lives and property of Nigerians, adding that already, inter-agency collaboration had been enhanced.
“Inter-service collaboration and intelligence sharing have been enhanced. Our service chiefs have been tasked with the vital responsibility of rebuilding the capacities of our security services.
“I salute and commend our gallant security forces for keeping us safe and securing our territorial integrity. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We remember them today and their families.
“May I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Assembly for its role in the quick take-off of this administration through the performance of its constitutional duties of confirmation and oversight.
“I similarly congratulate the judiciary as a pillar of democracy and fairness.’’
The president pledged to continue to recognise all segment of the country in appointment into various areas of national responsibilities as promised during campaigns.
“We shall continue to make key appointments in line with the provisions of the Constitution and with fairness toward all. Women, Youth and the physically challenged shall continue to be given due regards in these appointments.’’
Tinubu urged that all hands must be on deck to see the labour of the nation’s founding fathers bear fruit for the benefit of all Nigeria. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali