From FRED ITUA, Abuja
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has called on Nigerians from all walks of life to collaborate with the Federal Government in order to ensure that the nation emerged from the current economic recession stronger, more united, developed and self-reliant.
Saraki in his message to mark the nation’s 56th Independence Anniversary signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also commended Nigerians, especially the nation’s founding fathers, for their contributions that had averted disaster from the nation at every point her existence was threatened by social, political and economic problems.
While expressing regrets that in her 56 years of existence, Nigeria’s economy is still depended on only oil, a situation which created the present economic problems being experienced by the citizenry, the Senate President commended Nigerians for their perseverance, understanding and support in the face of the harsh economic condition.
“As we celebrate independence, we should all vow to work together as we have done in the past to save the nation. As we expect leaders to initiate policies, programmes and projects that will propel the economy to grow rapidly and improve the standard of living of the people, our people should also seek to explore their creative talents to produce goods and services which can compete with the best in the world, thereby enhancing our ability to export massively and earn foreign exchange,” he advised.
On his part, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, called for sober reflection and return to the path of true federalism as envisioned by the founding fathers in order to move the nation forward.
The Senator, who stressed the need for justice, peace, and unity, once more, urged the Federal Government to mobilise all capable hands to salvage the nation’s ailing economy, as there was hunger in the land.
He said: “This 56th Independence Anniversary calls for sober reflection. No people can make progress, unless they retrace their steps back to where the rain started beating them.
“Nigeria, at formation, had a building plan, which was based on true federalism as covenanted by our founding fathers at various conferences leading up to independence. For as long as we followed that plan, we prospered.”
Immediate-past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, on his part, took stock of Nigeria’s chequered economic and socio-political history since independence and submitted that in spite of the bottlenecks, the nation is destined for greatness.
To achieve greatness, however, Senator Mark canvassed policy consistency, saying that development in the country had been largely encumbered by inconsistencies in policy formulation and implementation.
Senator Mark also urged for love and unity of purpose among Nigerians irrespective of religious, political and ethnic affiliations, adding that such is the only way the nation could realize its full potentials with all the abundant human and natural resources.
Senator Mark recalled the ill-fated 30 months old Nigeria/Biafra fratricidal civil strife , the intermittent ethno-religious conflicts, the Boko Haram insurgency as well as the emergence of militant groups and canvassed greater commitment and unity against all forms of violence and criminality in the land.