By Christiana Ekpa
Former Lagos state governor and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday observed that Nigeria is made of people with similar and unique history, arguing that there is the need to celebrate the diamond jubilee anniversary of the country.
According to him, Nigerians should not only celebrate the political space call Nigeria but celebrate the decent, industrious and kind people who make Nigeria what it is and who strive with care and passion to bring Nigeria closer to what it ought to be.
A statement he signed to congratulate the 60th independence anniversary, Tinubu said “I would be selling you false hope if I were to say nothing but gentle days and tranquil nights await us.
“We are a nation and a people fashioned by a unique history. We bear no shame for our history is no better or worse than any other nation on the face of the earth. From our forbearers, we inherited a land and its ways and means.
“We have been entrusted by generations yet to come to improve upon those ways and means in order to establish a Nigerian way of life in which all children of this land may flourish in new ways and one in which the social ills of the past no longer seek to haunt the broad avenues of our future.
“However. I tender this sound and fundamental truth. This beloved nation now faces in the right direction. We move closer to the reality of a greater nation based on a more just and compassionate society. Because of you, the fine and patriotic people who are this nation, we are better than we were yesterday but not quite as good as we shall be tomorrow.
“Thus, we honor our independence not because it is a day on the calendar. We value this independence because it allows – in fact demand of us – that we assess and define ourselves and our nation as we deem fit. That we define our society, its economy and political institutions in a manner that answers the questions we pose to them instead of responding to the demands of outside forces.
“We cherish our independence so that we may build a society according to the humane and progressive values that animate us, and that we not lie supine and beholden to interests that care nothing for us, save that we serve them.
“We cherish our independence because we are Nigeria and Nigeria is us. As one, we are greater and more capable than the sum of our individual parts. During these trying times we face, many will ask why should I love this nation? What has it given me? It has given us a large potentially bountiful home. No power on earth can divest your rights to and in this home. Yet, with ownership comes responsibility. You have the inalienable right, no duty, to build and improve this home as you see fit.”
He however called on Nigerians to join in the common purpose and strong bond to build Nigeria as a citadel of peace.
“As a catalyst of prosperity and a tower of justice that wherever they may go in the world Nigerians can hold themselves proud. And wherever they may be in the world, there one thought is of returning to this fine and outstanding home we now build for ourselves of our own ingenuity, ideas and of our very independence. As long as this earth stands, may Nigeria too stand as among its leading nations.”