By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday said that Nigeria as an indivisible geo-political entity is more beneficial to its citizens than becoming units of nationalities.
Buhari stated this in a nationwide broadcast to mark the 60th independence anniversary of the country.
He said Nigerians must collectively resolve to continue their journey beyond the recorded 60 years on the understanding that country as a geo-political entity will be more beneficial to every citizen.
“We are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities,’’ he asserted.
Buhari stated that citizens should continue to do the right things to promote unity and understanding among the diverse ethno-religious groups in the country, to achieve desired goals of nation building.
”Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.
”Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great nation we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do what is right and proper even when no one is watching.
”Let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the 60 years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities.
”By the sufficient grace of God we shall come through current transient challenges.”
The president also stressed the need for the country to begin a sincere process of national healing, saying that the current anniversary presented genuine opportunity to eliminate divisive tendencies among the people.
He advised citizens to always discard acts capable of dividing the nation or promoting primordial sentiments.
”We need to begin sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and out-worn perceptions.
”The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.
”To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – our people– and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields.
”It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.
”Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home has resulted to a global recognition of our endeavours.”
The president expressed his optimism that Nigeria would achieve its set goals if citizens collectively pursued the nation’s aspirations together.
”I’m convinced that if we pursue our aspirations together we will be able to achieve whatever we desire,” he added.
Buhari stressed that Nigerians, irrespective of their geo-political backgrounds must continue to show genuine commitment toward the survival of the country as a geo-political entity no matter the challenges facing the nation.
”I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on daily basis and I must confess that most times, I always felt the need for collective reflection.
“I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.
”Nigeria is not a country for Mr President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of the challenges we face to make this country what we desire.
”To achieve this, we must focus our minds together as a people on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underline our present state.
According to him, these include evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people:
“Supporting the enthronement of rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance.
“Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria;
“Harnessing and optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top 20 economies of the world and in the process;
“Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years and strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting national interests and imbibing tolerance in diversity.”