By Adeboye Ado
As Nigeria celebrated its 63rd independence day anniversary, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other prominent citizens have reinvigorated the hope of Nigerians amidst prevailing hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy and hyper inflation.
In his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians, Mr. President raised the bar of hope by acknowledging the pains of compatriots and workers alike, by announcing a form of wage increment for low-grade workers and other palliatives package to assuage the economic discomfort being experienced by majority of the citizenry.
The President who said he was more committed to revamping the economy so as to stave-off hardship, disclosed that the Federal Government has “opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation.”
He further said that, “reforms may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few. A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past.”
“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.”
“My government is doing all that it can to ease the load. I will now outline the path we are taking to relieve the stress on our families and households.”
“We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.”
“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.”
“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.”
Going down memory lane, Tinubu emphasized that he would not renege on the promises made during his May 29 inauguration pledge, adding that “some have said that our country would be torn apart. They are forever mistaken. Here, our nation stands.”
Closing his speech, the President, however promised to serve faithfully, adding that the dream of a better Nigeria can be achieved through courage, compassion and commitment as one indivisible unit.
In similar tone of patriotism, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed optimism that Nigeria would be surmount her present precarious condition.
Meanwhile, the elder statesman, Atiku, rated the fledging democratic system in the country high. He stressed that democracy has triumphed despite the poor leadership being witnessed currently, he alleged.
In his congratulatory message to Nigerians, the former Vice President said, sixty-three years ago when Nigeria got independence, it was upon the promise of abundant prosperity and the principle of social justice.
“As a nation, we have continued to struggle to manifest the dreams of our founding fathers in upholding the promises of shared prosperity and social justice.”
“We have encountered great moments when the flag of our dear country flew tall on the global stage through the industry of our sportsmen and women, the prolific distinction of our academia and the top notch artistry of Nigerian talents in the global music scene.”
“The talents and doggedness of young Nigerians who have refused to give up on the country are the inspiration for a greater future that we celebrate today.”
“The energy of the Nigerian youth is a formidable force in the consternation of manpower and skills that power the global economy.”
“Across the globe, and in various fields of human endeavour, the youth of this country have proven to have the competence to rival any of their peers from any part of the world.”
However, the Ondo State Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has called on all Nigerians to unite with the country’s leadership in the task of rebuilding the nation towards peace, progress, and development.
Akeredolu made this known in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, on Sunday in Akure, the state capital.
In the statement titled “Independence Day: Governor Akeredolu Urges Nigerians To Reunite For Nation-Building”the Governor stated that now is the time for Nigerians to demonstrate their dedication to national development and nation-building.
“Despite today’s challenges, our hope and trust must remain unshaken. Our journey towards a prosperous and secure future has just begun. We must continually interrogate every issue that hinders the development and greatness of our beloved nation.
“We will persist in our efforts to foster true federalism. We must be dedicated to addressing the root causes of our national issues. The welfare of our people should accelerate our resolve for development.”
Governor Akeredolu also stressed that the task of rebuilding the nation requires the contribution of every citizen.
In his own opinion, an Abuja-based Public Relations expert and Public Affairs analyst, Chief Akinrogun Alaba Yusuf, 63, in a telephone interview, gave a mix feeling reaction:
“On this auspicious occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd independence day, we celebrate not just the achievements of the past but also the boundless potentials that lie ahead. As we look back on our journey as a nation, we acknowledge the challenges we have faced, the progress we have made, and the resilience of our people.”
“While we stand on the threshold of a new era, let us be reminded that our nation’s story is one of determination, unity, and hope. Despite the hurdles we have encountered, we remain steadfast in our belief that the best days of Nigeria are yet to come.”
“The future of Nigeria is promising. It is a future where peace will reign, justice will prevail, and prosperity will touch the lives of every citizen. It is a future where our diversity will be our strength, and our collective dreams will be our driving force.”
“As we celebrate this Independence Day, let us renew our commitment to the ideals that define us as a nation. Let us work together, as one people, towards a future where our great nation will shine even brighter on the global stage.”
He added that, “our leaders must do more in the areas of trust building, promotion of unity in diversity, equity, rule of law, independence of electoral commission and the Judiciary, to ensure free, fair and just society.”
Similarly, a legal practitioner, Barr. Seun Adeojo expressed dismay over what he described as the return of “neo-colonialism to our system.”
But he urged leaders of the country to expand their frontiers of knowledge by taking cues from leaders in advanced democracies.”
Adeojo revealed this much in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Monday in Akungba, Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He explained that lack of altruism and selflessness, on the part of those piloting the affairs of the country, has retarded the socio-economic growth of Nigeria and thus rendering Nigetians poor and underdeveloped.”
He further stated that, “As we commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day, it is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the missed opportunities and challenges that have hindered our great nation from reaching its full potential. Nigeria, with its abundant resources and resilient people, should have been a shining example of progress and prosperity in the world.”
He also lamented the absence of patriotic leadership that could tame excessive corruption and wastage in government.
“It is disheartening to witness the vast potential of our youth being stunted by unemployment and inadequate access to quality education. Our healthcare system should have been a model for Africa, but instead, many Nigerians continue to leave the country in Japa drove.”
Nigeria has the talent, resources, and resilience to rise to greatness. It is time for our leaders to set aside self-interest and learn from the successful governance models of the Western world. Let us work together to build a Nigeria that fulfills the dreams of our founding fathers and offers a bright future for generations to come,” he concluded.