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Governors, Others See Hope In Nigeria’s Troubled Nationhood

They spoke against the backdrop of tomorrow’s celebration of the nation’s 59th Independence anniversary.
Nigeria is passing through many challenges, ranging from insecurity, economy, infrastructure, among others.
The governors and other eminent Nigerians noted that though the night might have appeared long, the day will surely break soon.
Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu gave the Federal Government under the All Progressives Congress (APC) a pass mark, despite the challenges in the land.
Akeredolu, who was represented yesterday by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, at a church service on the 59th anniversary at The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Oke-Ijebu, Akure, the state capital, said many countries have disintegrated with half of the challenges facing Nigeria.
He said: “In spite of all the challenges we have faced as a people, it has pleased God to allow us to remain as one indivisible entity.
“As we all know, some countries whose challenges were not as daunting as ours have disintegrated.”
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said his administration would focus on welfare for the residents to turn around the standard of living in the state.
The governor spoke at a special church service to mark  the Independence anniversary at the St. Peter’s Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan, the state capital.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said the governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, assured that his administration emphasised the welfare of the people to create a good life for all.
“Our focus has been on the welfare of the people so far and that is because we are determined to turn around the standard of living of our people. There are many more programmes in the plans for the people of Oyo State.
“What we will ask of you is to keep on supporting and praying for the government.”
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade said Nigeria has made steady progress, despite some hitches.
The governor addressed State House correspondents in Abuja after a closed-door meeting at the weekend with Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.
The governor stressed that there is room for improvement amidst the challenges.
He said: “Nigeria has made progress. We must not only look at where we have failed as a nation, we have made progress at 59. America is over 250 years; Britain is over 250 years. We are just 59. At 59, we have the global system of mobile communications (GSM). At 59, we have better communication. At 59, we have medical services.
“As a nation, we may not be where we want, but for life, for the unity, there is a reason for us to say let’s celebrate. It is not always right to look at the negative aspects alone. Yes, there is room for improvement; yes, we might not have done as well, but as the leader of black people, the whole world looks onto Nigeria. We must come together to make the progress we so desire.”
Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha reassured the residents of his administration’s determination to overcome the daunting challenges confronting the state.
At a church service on Sunday to mark the nation’s Independence anniversary at the Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, the state capital, the governor assured the people that his administration remained strengthened by the challenges and focussed on the task ahead.
“…The demands are huge and we have the ability to overcome them. We need your prayers and advice. As humans, we do have our shortcomings,” he said.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to join the rebuilding of the nation by emulating Prophet Nehemiah in the Bible.
Okowa spoke on Sunday an inter-denominational thanksgiving at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter’s, Bishopscourt, Asaba, the state capital.
“The country requires everybody to be committed to nation-building. We must pray and fast for the nation so that God will hear us.
“The church must continue to pray for Nigeria as only prayers can deliver us as a nation. For those in authority, we need to render the best of services in the best way possible because being in position of authority means we must render services to the people and not be lords over them.
“When we stand in realisation of the fact that leaders must render services, our nation will be better,” he said.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Chimaroke Nnamani, yesterday urged Nigerian leaders to tackle poverty, ignorance and disease impeding the nation’s development and lead the people to prosperity.
In a statement in Abuja, the senator noted that almost six decades after Nigeria attained independence, the country was still faced with inequality, unemployment, ethnicity and illiteracy.
In his goodwill message to Nigerians, the former Enugu State governor urged leaders at all levels to make policies and programmes that would engender development and rescue the people from economic and social malaise.
Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly in Lagos prayed that God will frustrate every evil cabal suppressing the efforts of Nigerians.
Bakare, who spoke on Sunday at a church service in Lagos, prayed that God would not allow anything bad to happen to the country.
“Nigeria is our own and it must not crumble. If there is any cabal of evil anywhere doing anything to suppress the people of this nation, God will frustrate their efforts,” he said.
The popular cleric urged Nigerians to give thanks, saying God has been merciful to Nigeria.
“Let’s thank God that we are still a nation. Yes, this is not the best that is expected from the government, but they also have challenges and they are overwhelming,” he said.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) attributed Nigeria’s underdevelopment, 59 years after independence from Britain, to “selfish leadership and people who cling to power for personal aggrandisement”.
In a joint statement on Sunday in Abuja by its President Quadri Olaleye and Secretary-General Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the union raised concerns about the economy, constitution, electoral laws, minimum wage, corruption and the cost of governance as well as insecurity/agitations.
It froened at the $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria by a United Kingdom (UK) court.
The TUC wondered why countries, like China, India and Indonesia, which Nigeria was at par with, suddenly left the country far behind in terms of development.
“Truth be said, all the administrations we have so far had brought something remarkable to the table of national growth, including the present administration. However, what is important is that we must interrogate the reason(s) why countries we were at par with have left us far behind.”
“China, India, Indonesia, among others, were our contemporaries, but they are now in the first league while we are dragging economic space with some countries in Africa,” it said.
It noted that the focus on oil had made Nigeria a one-legged economy.
The statement added: “Before independence, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy. When oil was later discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri in present day Bayelsa State, attention shifted from agriculture, instead of diversifying the economy.
“Other sectors were left untapped. This has made Nigeria a one-legged economy. Although revenue from tax has improved significantly, but unfortunately, instead of widening the tax net, the impoverished public are over-taxed, leading to despondency and despair.
“The TUC sees a very bright future, if we can convert the resources nature has bequeathed to us to wealth. Yes, we have a role to play. There is cause for worry but we can change the narrative if we have the will.”