From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that Nigeria needs strong leadership to tackle the enormous challenges bedeviling the nation.
He has also called for stronger ties among the various ethnic and religious groups, for the overall peace and unity in the country.
Governor Wike made the assertion during the Juma’at service in commemoration of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria held at the State Central Mosque, Niger Street, Port Harcourt yesterday.
The governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on School Sports, Dr. Okiri Mohammed, called for the unity of the country, particularly at this point that the nation is passing through several challenges.
He said: “This independence of the country is about the unity and strength of the country. The country is passing through perilous time and the country requires strong leadership. It requires faith, and collectively we can achieve peace when we come together by the grace of God.”
He urged the people of the state to support the government in the battle against federal government as regards the issue of collection of Value Added Tax, (VAT).
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Muslim Pilgrims Board, Abdul-Razak Diepreye, noted the security challenge facing the nation and called on the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to come up with strong economic policies that will allow states to become economic viable.
Abdul-Razak Diepreye lauded Governor Wike for challenging the illegality of federal government collection of VAT on behalf of the state governments.
“The nation is having serious security challenge. The APC Federal government should be able to come up with necessary economic relief for this nation.”
“I thank His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State for setting the pace in the history of this country. I whole hearted support his Excellency on this issue of VAT and I believe a lot of well meaning Nigerians are also in support.”
In his message titled, “To Keep Hope Alive” the Imam, Port Harcourt Central Mosque, Malik Yahaya, noted the sacrifices made by the forefathers in fighting for the independence of the nation.