Nigeria gained her independence from British colonialists on October 1, 1960. Today the Federal Republic of Nigeria becomes 56 amidst tensions in the country. Some notable personalities have released statements as they celebrate Nigeria at 56.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy president of the Nigerian senate stressed the need for Nigeria to return to true federalism which the founding fathers intended, adding that this will greatly help the country to move forward.
“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.”
He added that things became sour when Nigeria discarded the original building plan. Senator Ekweremadu also urged the Nigerian government to move swiftly in turning the economy around, as there’s “hunger in the land”.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan who tweeted his message had a word similar to President Buhari’s latest ‘Change Begins With Me’campaign. He said:
“Happy 56th Independence Anniversary Nigeria! Do not ask who will make our beloved country great. Ask instead, how will I make Nigeria great.”
US Secretary of State, John Kerry had encouraging words to say to Nigeria at 56. His statement was made on behalf of President Obama and all Americans. He made reference to his recent trip to Nigeria, stating that Nigerians are working hard towards the unity of their country, although there is still a lot to be done about Boko Haram, corruption and other vices, he acknowledged that Nigerians are working hard to overcome this.
He concluded his message by stating the United States intention to foster its relationship with the county.
“The United States looks forward to deepening our partnership and friendship with Nigerians from all walks of life, so that we may work together for the betterment of Nigeria and all of Africa. Best wishes to all of you on this the 56th anniversary of your independence.”
The President Says The Recession Is Temporary
President of Nigeria also released a long statement addressing the current issues in Nigeria. He stated that there are currently three major issues that is hindering Nigeria’s greatness; corruption, the economy and insecurity.
On insecurity, he said that Boko Haram was technically defeated in December 2015, he also added that measures are being taken to deal with other insurgencies such as the Fulani herdsmen attack and the Niger Delta militants.
Concerning the economy, President Buhari said:
“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis. The recession for many individuals and families is real.
“For some It means not being able to pay school fees, for others it’s not being able to afford the high cost of food (rice and millet) or the high cost of local or international travel, and for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.”
He added that he understands the plight of the working class whose salaries may no longer be enough due to the weakness of the dollar, nonetheless, the President explains that he believes the recession is only temporary.