From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
DELTA State Government on Sunday in Asaba held an interdenominational thanksgiving service to mark this year’s independence anniversary of Nigeria with a call on leaders to avoid hate speeches.
Guest preacher at the service, Sylvanus Okorote who specifically gave the charge said hate speeches from leadership quarters is responsible for the persistence of crises in different parts of the the country.
He said now that the nation is coming out of recession, leaders should avoid hate speeches so as not to plunged back into the economic crisis.
“Within this period of 28 months, I have heard leaders use their tongues to drive away investors. Leaders have use their tongues to escalate conflict because of hate speeches. The IPOB crisis is still because of the speeches from some leaders. The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) was not really prepared to attack oil installations but they propelled by the wrong use of tongues by leaders,” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said independence imposes a huge responsibility on the elite in the society.
Okowa said: “The pride of belonging to an independent country where sovereign power of deciding our destiny rests with us, imposes a huge responsibility on us.
“We, particularly the elites in this society, indeed have extra responsibility to dedicate our services and lives to the progress of the nation for we shall be failing in our responsibilities as citizens and leaders of an independent nation, if we do not devote ourselves to the service of this country, with our immense talents.”
He said “as we celebrate, there is no doubt that we are weighed down by the economic challenges in our dear country.
“The recent announcement by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, of positive GDP growth in the second quarter of this year, is a silver lining in the sky, signaling the end of the longest recession in our nation’s history.
“I know how difficult things are and how tough life has become and it will take a while for the impact of the end of the recession to be felt in our households but I remain optimistic.
“I am also conscious of the fact that our people are making necessary sacrifices to cope with present challenges. By the special grace of God, such sacrifices will not be in vain.”