From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna The Chairman Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Niger state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has urged Nigerians to mark its 54 year as an independent country working for its unity and prosperity. The forum’s chairman, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ayegba Ebije, expressed optimism over the continued existence of Nigeria against speculation of its collapse in 2015 elections. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to remember the labor of the country founding fathers and shun acts that will make the prophecy real adding that it is the duty of all Nigerians to shun acts that will undermine the unity of the country. Aliyu called on those who have sentimentally balkanized Nigeria along political divides to use the 54th independent day celebration to reflect more on the gains in one Nigeria and not dwell on narrow interests. “Let me congratulate Nigerians as we celebrate our 54th independence. It is my wish that we celebrate more independence in peace, harmony and prosperity. We need a country where our people can really call their home.” He said the security situation presently drawing negative impression on Nigeria will soon be a thing of the past, adding that once politics is not seen as a ‘do or die’ affair people will be more focused on going about it peacefully, eclipsing the present malaise. Aliyu, therefore, intimated that despite the level of mistrust and escalating hate across religious and ethnic divides on account of politics and interest induced violence in parts of the country, insisted Nigeria can still chart a direction from the present turbulence to its rightful position as a country on its way to social, economic and political prosperity. “It is therefore my sincere prayers that Nigerians should mark this Independence Day celebration in the spirit of reconciliation. We must work towards healing wounds triggered by politics, religion and ethnicity. We need true reconciliation to work together as an indivisible entity”, he stated.