By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has said that Nigerians have every reason to celebrate the country, as she marks 60 years of political independence, even as he urged for more commitment and prayers for peace to prevail in the nation.
He also called for more support to President Muhammadu Buhari, to enable him succeed in repositioning the country towards the path of sustainable development.
A statement by Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, DG Media to Governor Masari yesterday, quoted the Governor as saying the President needed our sustained commitment and prayers to enable him successfully continue in the path he has started to steer the nation through the numerous challenges confronting, and even threatening, its corporate existence.
In a goodwill message to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, the Governor maintained that although sixty years was not a long time in the life of a nation, the country has come a long way in terms of infrastructural development.
“We should be optimistic enough and view the nation’s developmental Cup as half full, given the numerous false starts it has to contend with in the past sixty years of nationhood.
“Most of these false starts are the product of the fault lines that have defined the history of Nigeria as a single entity. For many in the leadership hierarchy and the led, considerations other than national interest take prime place in their heart, placing Nigeria a distant second or even third.
“Regional, religious and ethnic considerations have retarded Nigeria’s development as a nation.
“The advanced nations reached where they are today because their citizens have rallied in support of national interest, rather than some divisive considerations.
“If we want to see Nigeria up in that league, we would do well to always put her first in our positive actions, inactions, utterances and thoughts”.
“Still, we must admit that Nigeria has made tremendous advancement infrastructurally, even if not up to the expectation of some compatriots.
“In every sphere of human endeavour, there are landmarks signposting the progress of Nigeria as an independent nation, which has come if age.
“Let me at the risk of sounding prideful, that we in Katsina claim the bragging right for the enviable role the state has played and still play in the political development of Nigeria.
“Katsina more than any other state, has played a key role in this journey, having produced many of the First Republic leaders of Northern extraction, most of whom were either indigenes of, or schooled in Katsina at famous Katsina Teachers Training College, the first post primary school in the region.
The likes of the First and only Prime Minister of Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tarawa Balewa, the first and only Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, the first Minister of Defence, Sir Ribadu, the first Minister of Lagos Affairs, Alhaji Musa Yar’adua and a host of other Nigerians too numerous to mention.
“A no time in the political development of Nigeria are citizens of Katsina State not found in prominent roles in significant numbers from Independence to date.
Katsina is the only state to produce one Head of State and three Presidents.
General Muhammadu Buhari was Head of State, and now second democratically elected President in his second term, coming after President Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua of blessed memory”.
“In between, Katsina has produced heads and deputy heads of several commanding institutions in the country like the judiciary, the military, the police force, the Department of State Security Services and many other security and para military organisations.
“Indeed, we in Katsina have every reason to celebrate Nigeria at 60 and pray for its continued success as one indivisible entity that sooner than later, will be up there among the top in the community of nations”.